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Pathological Russophobia
and sociopathic Carthago delenda est
(Carthage must be destroyed)
attitude of the US elite toward Russia

Who Rules America > Neoconservatism >
News Demonization of Putin Recommended Links British roots of US Rusoophobia Cold War II Perfidious Albion
Peak Cheap Energy and Temporary Oil Price Slump USA-Russia Gas War North Stream South Stream Zugzwang for Ukraine  
Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism False flag poisonings Skripal poisoning Litvinenko poisoning History of American False Flag Operations DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Nulandgate Anti-Russian hysteria in connection with DNC leak Putin-did-it fiasco Russian Ukrainian Gas Wars The Rape of Russia
British poisoning false flags MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Great Plunder of Russia after the dissolution of the USSR Obama: a yet another Neocon Professor Steven Cohen Putin stands up to US and G8 warmongers on Syria
Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization  Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Diplomacy by deception Net hamsters
Neoliberal Compradors Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Khodorkovsky case Boris Berezovsky Magnitsky case Navalny's Saga
Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment America and the Imperial Project Demonization of Putin Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Nemtsov assassination
Color revolutions The Rape of Russia, Testimony of Anne Williamson Before the House Banking Committee Russian Color Revolution of 2012 From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine
Miraculous metamorphosis of Russian crooks on crossing Western border Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie America and the Imperial Project Most important anti-Russian propaganda campaigns The Deep State Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
Russian foreign policy Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Pussi Riot Provocation American Exceptionalism "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries Brain Drain
Soft propaganda The Real War on Reality Economics of Peak Energy Russophobic quotes from famous Russian Liberasts Humor Etc


Introduction

The current US policy of simultaneously antagonizing both China and Russia
 will likely go down as one of the 21st century's more significant strategic miscalculations.
Assuming of course that it is a part of some strategy and not just bumbling incompetence.
Is Russia Being Driven Into the Arms of China

This page is written in hope to help Russian language students to understand the country they are studying despite the level of brainwashing typical for MSM in the West. My own views on the problem were  influenced by Professor  Stephen F. Cohen

Russophobia is not actually only about Russia. It is form of social control of US population. Energy scapegoating is an important part of Propaganda machine, especially war propaganda.  Brainwashing people this way artificially (and temporary) increases social cohesion (as any enemy would) and is practiced when the elite experience difficulties now in 2016. That's why McCarthyism was dusted off and launched into mainstream.  Overextending this trick has negative consequences as Soviet Politburo discovered in starting from 70th.  But with the crisis of neoliberalism (2008  and then defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016 are two stages of the same process) reinventing "Red Scare" again became principally important, as a vital tool of controlling US (and in general, Western) population.

It is also important to understand that Russophobia in many Western countries and first of all in the USA, is an official policy. Much like in Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) was during certain period official policy in Rome.

American elite like Roman elite before need an enemy to unite nation as well as a smoke screen that hides their own corruption. Russophibia definitely helps to suppress internal discontent caused by growing inequality, unemployment, shrinking of the middle class and justifies the conversion of the country into National Security State after Islamic threat became less potent.   The mass production of faux news demonizing Russians invokes depictions of Orwell's nefarious Eurasians from whom the populace needed Big Brother for protection. Reincarnation of Ministry of Truth by Barack Obama is just another stage of the same process -- now like Soviet Politburo, the US government is afraid that the US people will be informed about the real events in the world.  And that like BBC and Voice of America in the past were used by Soviet population, at least some segments of Us population started using RT the same way -- to understand where MSM lie to them. 

In a similar vain, in the current international situation, I would consider Russophobia to be some kind of Freudian projection, a politically correct way of replacing  anti-Semitism. King of subconscious substitution of Jews to a different, "more acceptable" (aka politically correct)  nationality, with all related consequences and moral repercussions that entail this equivalency.  There is tragic irony here as Russians in the past were guilty of anti-Semitism (like most European nations).  Now they probably might understand better what it means to be  the target of anti-Semitism.  As Arkadiy Rukh observed (cited from dr-piliulkin.livejournal.com ):

"Today, in the era of the total political correctness in the Western world there is only one object for unpunished hatred, for realization of the inevitable phobias and other psychopathologies. This is Russia. Today Russians occupy in the world that niche, which for many centuries was occupied by the Jews: the object instinctive, illogical, animal hatred."

While in many respects Russophobia as a social phenomenon is somewhat similar to anti-Semitism it is also a natural by-product of American Exeptionalism as Russia refuses to accept the role of vassal that the US elite designated to them after the collapse of the USSR (the role which was temporary successfully implemented under drunk Yeltsin) . In this sense if it a condemnation of the revolt against "inevitable" in the eyes of the US elite world order --  the global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  That also explains the level of bitterness involved. Russophobia became so fashionable in Western neoliberal MSM when Russia under Putin became an obstacle on the creation of the global, dominated by the USA neoliberal empire. That resistance to "neoliberal project" (although weak and inconsistent -- under Putin Russia became a member of WTO and Medvedev in general is a 'soft" neoliberal, almost a pro-Western comprador) also generates considerable amount of hate.  Pages of European and American newspapers and their comments columns, are packed with expressions such as

and other similar cliché that clearly remind German propaganda against Jews. This anti-Russian hysteria also helps to erase Snowden revelations from Western collective memory.

In other words the hatred of Russia  now is "a new normal" for the US neoliberal establishment and controlled by this establishment MSM.  How and for what reasons did this happen? The first thing to understand is that this is not a new phenomenon. British elite were adamantly Russophobic for a long time, several centuries:

The historian J. H. Gleason, in his 1950 book The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain, characterized the nineteenth-century English public’s “antipathy toward Russia” as the “most pronounced and enduring element in the national outlook on the world abroad.”

The sentiment, Gleason concluded, was concocted by a manipulative, imperial-minded elite—and was off base, anyway, since Britain’s foreign policy was actually “more provocative than Russia’s” in this period. Others concur. “The world champion imperialists of modern history, the British, were in a permanent state of hysteria about the chimera of Russia advancing over the Himalayas to India,”

While observations of Arkadiy Rukh are, in my opinion, absolutely correct (the article I cited above is pretty interesting too and contains a valuable discussion) I would add a more recent neoliberal edge of this problem (The Vineyard of the Saker):

The historical roots of the Russophobia of the American elites

Having said all of the above, its actually pretty simple to understand why Russia in general, and Putin in particular, elicits such a deep hatred from the Western plutocracy: having convinced themselves that they won the Cold War they are now facing the double disappointment of a rapidly recovering Russia and a Western economic and political decline turning into what seems to be a slow and painful agony.

In their bitterness and spite, Western leaders overlook the fact that Russia has nothing to do with the West's current problems. Quite to the contrary, in fact: the main impact the collapse of the Soviet Union on the US-run international economic system was to prolong its existence by creating a new demand for US dollars in Eastern Europe and Russia (some economists - such as Nikolai Starikov - estimate that the collapse of the USSR gave an extra 10+ years of life to the US dollar).

In the past, Russia has been the historical arch-enemy of the British Empire. As for Jews - they have always harbored many grievances towards pre-revolutionary Tsarist Russia. The Revolution of 1917 brought a great deal of hope for many East-European Jews, but it was short lived as Stalin defeated Trotsky and the Communist Party was purged from many of its Jewish members. Over and over again Russia has played a tragic role in the history of the Ashkenazi Jews and this, of course, has left a deep mark on the worldview of the Neocons who are all deeply Russophobic, even today. Somebody might object that many Jews are deeply grateful for the Soviet Army's liberation of Jews from the Nazi concentration camps or for the fact that the Soviet Union was the first country to recognize Israel. But in both cases, the country which is credited with these actions is the Soviet Union and not Russia which most Ashkenazi Jews still typically associate anti-Jewish policies and values.

It is thus not surprising that both the Anglo and the Jewish elites in the US would harbor an almost instinctive dislike for, and fear of, Russia, especially one perceived as resurgent or anti-American. And the fact is that they are not wrong in this perception: Russia is most definitely resurgent, and the vast majority of the Russian public opinion is vehemently anti-American, at least if by "America" we refer to the civilizational model or economic system.

... ... ...

Considering the never ending barrage of anti-Russian propaganda in the western corporate media one could wonder how strong anti-Russian feelings are in the West. This is really hard to measure objectively, but as somebody born in Western Europe and who has lived a total of 15 years in the USA I would say that anti-Russian sentiment in the West is very rare, almost non-existent. In the USA there have always been strong anti-Communist feelings - there still are today - but somehow most Americans do make the difference between a political ideology that they don't really understand, but that they dislike anyway, and the people which in the past used to be associated with it.

US *politicians*, of course, mostly hate Russia, but most Americans seem to harbor very little bad feelings or apprehension about Russia or the Russian people. I explain that by a combination of factors.

First, since more and more people in the West realize that they are not living in a democracy, but in a plutocracy of the 1%, they tend to take the official propaganda line with more than a grain of salt (which, by the way, is exactly what was happening to most Soviet people in the 1980s). Furthermore, more and more people in the West who oppose the plutocratic imperial order which impoverishes and disenfranchises them into corporate serfs are quite sympathetic to Russia and Putin for "standing up to the bastards in Washington". But even more fundamentally, there is the fact that in a bizarre twist of history Russia today stands for the values of the West of yesterday: international law, pluralism, freedom of speech, social rights, anti-imperialism, opposition to intervention inside sovereign states, rejection of wars as a means to settle disputes, etc.

In the case of the war in Syria, Russia's absolutely consistent stance in defense of international law has impressed many people in the USA and Europe and one can hear more and more praise for Putin from people who in the past has deep suspicions about him.

Russia, of course, is hardly a utopia or some kind of perfect society, far from it, but it has taken the fundamental decision to become a *normal* country, as opposed to being a global empire, and any normal country will agree to uphold the principles of the "West of yesterday", not only Russia. In fact, Russia is very un-exceptional in its pragmatic realization that to uphold these principles is not a matter of naive idealism, but a sound realistic policy goal. People in the West are told by their rulers and the corporate media that Putin in an evil ex-KGB dictator who is a danger for the US and its allies, but as soon as these people actually read or listen to what Putin actually says they find themselves in a great deal of agreement with him.

In another funny twist of history, while the Soviet population used to turn to the BBC, Voice of America or Radio Liberty for news and information, more and more people in the West are turning to Russia Today, Press TV, or Telesur to get their information. Hence the panicked reaction of Walter Isaacson, Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the US outfit overseeing US media directed at foreign audiences, who declared that "we can't allow ourselves to be out-communicated by our enemies. You've got Russia Today, Iran's Press TV, Venezuela's TeleSUR, and of course, China is launching an international broadcasting 24-hour news channel with correspondents around the world". Folks like Isaacson know that they are slowly but surely loosing the informational battle for the control of the minds of the general public.

And now, with the entire Snowden affair, Russia is becoming the safe harbor for those political activists who are fleeing Uncle Sam's wrath. A quick search on the Internet will show you that more and more people are referring to Putin as the "leader of the Free World" while other are collecting signatures to have Obama give his Nobel Prize to Putin. Truly, for those like myself who have actually fought against the Soviet system it is absolutely amazing to see the 180 degree turn the world has taken since the 1980s.

Western elites - still stuck in the Cold War

If the world has radically changed in the last 20 years, the Western elites did not. Faced with a very frustrating reality they are desperately trying to re-fight the Cold War with the hope of re-winning it again. Hence the never ending cycle of Russia-bashing campaigns I mentioned at the beginning of this post. They try to re-brand Russia as the new Soviet Union, with oppressed minorities, jailed or murdered dissidents, little or no freedom of speech, a monolithic state controlled media and an all seeing security apparatus overseeing it all. The problem, of course, is that they are 20 years late and that these accusations don't stick very well with the western public opinion and get exactly *zero* traction inside Russia. In fact, every attempt at interfering inside Russian political affairs has been so inept and clumsy that it backfired every single time. From the absolutely futile attempts of the West to organize a color-coded revolution in the streets of Moscow to the totally counter-productive attempts to create some kind of crisis around homosexual human rights in Russia - every step taken by the western propaganda machine has only strengthened Vladimir Putin and his the "Eurasian Sovereignists" at the expense of the "Atlantic Integrationist" faction inside the Kremlin.

There was a deep and poignant symbolism in the latest meeting of the 21 APEC countries in Bali. Obama had to cancel his trip because of the US budget crisis while Putin was treated to a musically horrible but politically deeply significant rendition of "Happy birthday to you!" by a spontaneous choir composed of the leaders of the Pacific Rim countries. I can just imagine the rage of the White House when they saw "their" Pacific allies serenading Putin for his birthday!

... ... ...

On one side we have the 1%, the Anglo imperialists and the Ziocons, while on the other we have the rest of the planet, including potentially 99% of the American people. If it is true that at this moment in time Putin and his Eurasian Sovereignists are the most powerful and best organized faction of the worldwide resistance to the Empire, they are far from being central, or even less so, crucial, to it. Yes, Russia can, and will, play its role, but only as a normal country amongst many other normal countries, some small and economically weak like Ecuador, other huge and powerful like China. But even small Ecuador was "big enough" to grand refuge to Julian Assange while China seems to have asked Snowden to please leave. So Ecuador is not that small after all?

It would be naive to hope that this "de-imperialization" process of the USA could happen without violence. The French and British Empires collapsed against the bloody backdrop of WWII, while did the Nazi and Japanese Empires were crushed under a carpet of bombs. The Soviet Empire collapsed with comparatively less victims, and most of the violence which did take place during that process happened on the Soviet periphery. In Russia itself, the number of death of the mini civil war of 1993 was counted in the thousands and not in the millions. And by God's great mercy, not a single nuclear weapon was detonated anywhere.

So what will likely happen when the US-Ziocon Empire finally collapses under its own weight? Nobody can tell for sure, but we can at least hope that just as no major force appeared to rescue the Soviet Empire in 1991-1993, no major force will attempt to save the US Empire either. As David Rovic's puts it so well, the big weakness of the 1% which rule the US-Ziocon Empire is that "they are a tiny minority and we are everywhere".

In the past 20 years the US and Russia have followed diametrically opposed courses and their roles appears to have been reversed. That "pas de deux" is coming to some kind of end now. Objective circumstances have now again placed these two countries in opposition to each other, but this is solely due to the nature of the regime in Washington DC. Russian leaders could repeat the words of the English rapper Lowkey and declare "I'm not anti-America, America is anti-me!" and they could potentially be joined by 99% of Americans who, whether they already realize it or not, are also the victims of the US-Ziocon Empire.

In the meantime, the barrage of anti-Russian propaganda campaigns will continue unabated simply because this seems to have become a form of psychotherapy for a panicked and clueless western plutocracy. And just as in all the previous cases, this propaganda campaign will have no effect at all.

It is my hope that next time we hear about whatever comes next after the current "Greenpeace" campaign you will keep all this in mind.

The Saker

The USA and Russian should be strategic partners

During the "cold War" the "old" US elite behaved more or less reasonable and tried to avoid unnecessary confrontation. Several moments were clear exception (Korea War, Cuban crisis, Vietnam war and support of radical political Islam in Afghanistan), but all-in-all it was kind of policy of "peaceful coexistence" (live and give other chance to live), not of an outright "all out" confrontation. Intelligence agencies behaves more provocatively, especially CIA in Europe, which organized and trained Nazi collaborators for the resistance to the possible Soviet invasion, and subsequent guerilla movement against Soviet occupation.

Also in case of JFK assassination, the patsy was chosen in a way that makes it easy to implicate Russia.

but those were exception, rather then the rule.  Probably the memory of the WWII still played some role in such restrain. But eventually a new generation of US elite, the elite did not have WWII experience come to power.

This  new US elite tried hard to colonize Russia instead of making it a valuable partner after dissolution of the USSR. Bill Clinton and Larry Summers are two good example of this behaviour. This adventurism backfired.  This was probably the first blunder, the blunder make by Clinton administration -- the first administration with a lot of neocons onboard (we all remember unforgettable female neocon Madeleine Albright). 

Subsequent administration also demonstrated strong neocon influence (actually neocons, such as Paul Wolfowitz dominated Bush II administration foreign policy)  and due to it made several strategic blunders such as invasions in Iraq, Afghanistan  and Libya.  And that despite the fact the Russia provided great help in Afghan operation, as it essentially controlled (and armed) the North Alliance against Taliban. 

Obama administration essentially continued Bush II foreign policy without major changes. The only change was that is did was more double-dealing. It did get Russia into a trap, when Medvedev government abstain in UN Security council votes for Libyan resolution (which was a disguised justification of NATO military intervention), which opened the way to the occupation of Libya and killing of colonel Kaddafi ("We came, we saw, he died").  Obama administration also masterfully played Iran card against Russia, crashing oil prices three times (from $120 to $30) from the second half of 2014 to January 2016 and keeping oil prices below $50 per barrel (on average) all 2016 (Russia needs approximately $50-$55 to balance the state budget).

It also outplayed Russia in Ukraine tuning this county into nationalistic enclave extremely hostile to Russia (see "Fuck the EU": neocons show EU its real place ). And then to add insult to injury introduced sanctions against Russia. Obama might be not a great president, but he for sure is one of the greatest hypocrites in world history.

But those attacks as well as a clear attempt to encircle Russia in Europe backfired: if you pursue containment of China and at the same time introduce sanctions against Russia it is only natural that these countries will become closer political partners. From the point of view of traditional American and any other political logic, actions that contribute to the rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing, are, to put it mildly, unwise.  And that what Obama administration archived. This is the main legacy of Obama administration in foreign policy.

Russian elite for too long was trying to please the Western colleagues. They swallowed completely unacceptable things. They resigned to NATO expansion. Even after the bombing of Yugoslavia, which was  a clear violation of international law, they still viewed the USA a friendly nation and hoped for the best. Another problem was that Russia was too weak at the moment, kind of semi-colony of the USA (and Yeltsin regime was clearly a comprador regime, no question about it).  But at this point attitude to the USA start changing to negative.  After Ukrainian coup d'état of February 2014 (Maydan Revolution, as it is called in the West) this change only accelerated. In other words huge amount of political goodwill that existed in Russia after dissolution of the USSR was completely squandered in less then 30 years.   That's an amazing art of making enemies from friends. 

But at the end of Obama administration Russia just stopped to trust the USA. At all. They view Obama as treacherous and extremely dangerous imperialist, who will not stop at anything by promoting the Us domination.  That means that they now view the USA as a geopolitical gangster, which is violating any laws in impunity using classic "might makes right" principle. That's a dangerous view and dangerous situation for the USA.  This is another geopolitical blunder of the US elite.

I never was a Russian citizen, but I was and still am interested in Russian politics and, especially, culture. I think that it is a European culture in its essence. Very interesting and very rich. Which was able to survive years of Soviet rule. So attempt of isolate Russia from Europe attempted by Obama neocons (see Nulandgate), following classic "device and conquer strategy of British Empire, might be a mistake.

Neocons defined Russia as the main threat. In other words deterrence of Moscow became the strategic goal of the USA foreign policy, which is essentially a neocon foreign policy, the policy of obtaining and maintaining the world domination at all costs.  That means that the efforts to explicitly shape the USA public opinion to see Russia as the key geopolitical enemy are dictated by priorities of the USA foreign policy, which is defined by neocons.

The role of skepticism

My negative attitude to distortions and clearly orchestrated by White house  anti-Russian campaign in the USA press reflects my natural skepticism. I am not content with typical coverage of Russia in the USA press which reminds me the caricature on the USA coverage by Soviet press (which at the time had higher standard of living the people of the USSR and low level of unemployment).  I consider hysteric Russophobia that is now practiced  to be simplistic and counterproductive policy which serves to promote equally shortsighted global imperial policy that benefits only the US financial oligarchy. Policy that has considerable cold-war inertia and that is damaging to the USA long term interests. Most journalists are simply behave like paid attack dogs (a good example here is Mr. Wallace: his interview of Putin was an insult to the American people; Wallace actually tried to lecture Vladimir Putin).

Here I collected some of the authors who try to see more long term approach and try to present their own understanding of the complex problems related to previous US attempt to colonize Russia after the dissolution of the USSR.  Or at least advice a more realistic US foreign policy toward Russia. Of course it is nice to squash the old geo-political enemy like a bug and I would be the first to admit that under Yeltsin West came close to this scenario. Criminal privatization of Russian companies was hugely successful attempt to put an end to the Russia as an independent country. Similar strategy was by-and-large successful in other USSR republics like Ukraine, Georgia and especially Baltic countries creating what can be called New Latin America.

But after Putin came to power, the attempts to convert Russia into yet another Latin American country became gradually reversed (although this process is some areas went too far and to reverse it completely is very difficult). As Ira Straus aptly put it in her letter Russia, U.S. Media:

Nowadays attacking Russia has a politically correct tinge to it, since Russia is a white Christian country. By contrast, attacking China still suffers from being susceptible to counter-charges of racism and anti-Communism. Perhaps this is the source of the strange double standard in which Russia is attacked just about any day for just about anything while China is virtually ignored day after day, month after month for the same and far worse.

Attacking Russia is especially "correct" when it is a matter attacking a Republican Administration for being soft on a Russia that is beating up on Muslims. One doubts that much of the American public shares the media's sensibilities on this. Picture bubba listening as Dan Rather launches into Russia for beating up on Muslim Chechens; he'll probably be telling himself, "there the liberal media go again, standing up for our enemies and blaming our allies the Russians for fighting back". Among Americans who write about politics, only Pat Buchanan and Ann Coulter dare to say such things, but many more think it, in whole or in part.

The importance of adversarial culture for the media can be seen from the Bush I administration, which truly was anti-Russian. The media bashed Bush I for this; it became ambivalent on Russia, taking on a more pro-Russian hue than any time before or since. As soon as Clinton got a pro-Russian reputation, the media switched back to Russia-bashing mode. It was Clinton-bashing that was the real point.

In other words, the media should not be taken as a barometer of U.S. government policies on Russia. It is more often an indicator of the opposite.

What does it matter? A lot. The media drumbeat against Russia has an enormous impact on public policy, not only in the US but in every Western country, and in Russia itself. It makes it hard to think clearly, or even to see clearly. It fosters and fans conflict. It promotes a tit for every tat.

First, the effects on Russians. The media play an enormous role in convincing them that we're an enemy. They can see CNN, BBC and other Western media daily, at length; they hear from our government only rarely, and practically never from the American people. They can see the Western media's implicit premises far more clearly than the media themselves do. Mistakenly assuming these premises to represent Western policy, they draw what would be the logical conclusion: that we are their enemy. If Russia does in turn become an enemy again, the media will have been a major cause of it.

Second, effects on Western policy-making are just as damaging. Instead of helping the Western governments do their thinking, the media block out most of the space for it. They make it harder for the West to think out loud about such matters as how to build active alliance relations with Russia, or how to overcome the remaining Cold War standoffs. They make it harder to follow a steady course where cooperation has been agreed, They have done much to cause the West to be an unreliable partner for Russia, an unreliability that democrats in Russia noted with profound regret throughout the 1990s. They prioritize conflicting interests over shared interests, encouraging every minor divergence of interest to grow into a major opposition. Their audience ratings flourish on conflict; and no longer fearing it as risking war or nuclear incineration, they promote it shamelessly.

If we end up with a new Cold War -- and the risk is becoming a real one -- it won't be a small thing. It would mean a nuclear superpower once again ranged against us and the world plunged back into a bipolar disorder, only in more unstable conditions. In that case, the media will no doubt turn around and denounce as "reckless" those who carry out their painful duties in the conflict. The truly reckless ones, however, will have been those in this era who so freely did so much to bring it on.

My personal views are close to views expressed by Anatoly Karlin in About Da Russophile

As regards Russian politics, I make no secret that I’m a pro-Putin conservative. That said, my views are moderate – while Western media coverage of Russia may be woefully biased and frequently malicious, there are certainly plenty of things to criticize about Russia and Russians.

However, they must be grounded in in statistics, an appreciation of the viewpoints of ordinary Russians, and a judicious comparative perspective (which is NOT equivalent to "moral relativism" or "whataboutism" as many of the more hardcore Russophobe propagandists claim).

I think that the Western MSM fails on all three counts:

This blog concerns with calling them out on their lies. As the one-time Guardian chief editor C.P. Scott once said, "Comment is free but facts are sacred." While his newspaper has retreated from this vision in practice, I maintain that it’s the most elegant encapsulation of what real journalism (and punditry, blogging, etc) should all be about.

...I consider Charles de Gaulle to have done a great job, and consider Putin to be a comparable figure in vision and stature.

Russians are coming: War hysteria as classic Adorno

Outside obvious "Lebensraum" motives, it looks like western hate towards Russia rests on some deep inadequacy syndrome. Russia is supposed to be some has-been power that is now of no consequence, yet it gets way more attention than such a worthless state would merit. The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.

The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.

Russophobia as persistent policy of the US government and US media. And all this talk about Russia aggressiveness, and carefully orchestrated related war hysteria in MSM is pure projection. It is the USA which is the most aggressive international player on the world stage.

Russophobia is the unofficial but persistent set of behavioral patterns of the US government and US media. It is clear that US tried to weaken and possibly dismember Russia out of geopolitical considerations which represents a real threat to the US world hegemony. This idea on which the US elite is hell bent since end of WWII and there were even plans to bomb Russia just after end of WWII.

It is the only military power that can annihilate large part of the continental USA, But there is something deeper here. It is also an attempt to unify nation, which under neoliberalism became much less coherent whole and in which 99% of the population hates the top 1% and the level of this hate is increasing, especially in minorities and inner cities.

Russophobia is a crucial part of the US foreign policy. In this respect the US foreign policy is so messianic that it reminds me Soviet foreign policy (with the substitution of "triumph of democracy" for "triumph of communism") and I wonder if the USSR really was a defeated party in the Cold War. This mentality of "export of revolution" is the integral part of mentality of the US elite. The difference with Trotskyism, if exists, is minor, and the key difference between Trotskyism and the US flavor of messianism probably is connected with the smell of oil which radically increases the urge to democratize a particular country. In any case attempt to export democracy in Russia never stopped since 1991 and under Yeltsin were so successful that the country lost more in industrial production then during the second World War and poverty became a norm for more then 50% of the population.

Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) attitude exists partially because the Western elites hate resource nationalists independently whether those nationalists are leftist or conservative. Fighting resource nationalists tooth-and-nail is an important, may be even critical part of neoliberal doctrine. The latter is a civic religion in the USA. That means the Russophobia in the USA has strong religious component, and is supported by 500 pound gorilla of the US elite propaganda machine. In other words there is a strong, consistent tendency of demonization of Russia (Paul Starobin, The National Interest Blog, August 28, 2014):

In any case, our taste for a country—favorable or unfavorable—shouldn’t dictate our foreign policy, which is properly shaped by a cool calculation of our national interest. On these terms, America is right to resist Russia if Putin seems truly bent on bullying his way to a redrawn map of Europe, but also right to try to keep working with Russia on matters of mutual concern such as Islamic militancy. And that same calculation will hold when Putin, as must happen eventually, exits the Kremlin, willingly or unwillingly, whether replaced by a new autocrat or a more democratic figure. Today’s heightened tension between the United States and Russia, conceivably the first chapter of a new cold war, with Europe as ambivalent as ever about its role, underscores that Russia is likely to remain one of America’s most vexing and formidable diplomatic challenges for a long time to come.

So the future of the presentation of Russia as a hodgepodge of unflattering stereotypes seems bright. The naive liberal notion that the world has a teleological disposition toward a progressive end—if only holdouts like Russia would get with the program—is deeply entrenched. Headlines datelined in Russia—on corrupt oligarchs, or on control-freak KGB-generation political operators—will continue to nourish sweeping criticism of Russians, from their leaders on down, as primitive and psychologically ill. Probably no other nation is so easy (or so safe) to caricature.

And the “Russia Is Doomed” syndrome is bound to survive because Russia, alas, still matters. The object of such concentrated anxiety over the centuries, far from heading down a path to obscurity, remains a global force and impossible to ignore. So the worries will live on, too, as will the sublimated wish to efface Russia. But perhaps the good news for the critics is precisely that Russia is not about to go away. They will have plenty of grist for their mill for decades to come.

The issue is whether comprador elites subservient to the US are in power, or more nationalistic "national sovereignty" guys. It is true that a nationalist elite can be as predatory as a comprador elite, but a reasonable degree of national sovereignty is a prerequisite for social justice and it is difficult to raise standard of living if your resources are owned by transnationals. The latter automatically became above the law and do what they want with impunity.

Russophobic views on Russia "There is no life there !"

The Russophobic views on Russia can be summed up in three words: "There is no life there !" This simple formula invoke the whole complex system of "corrupt journalism patterns" and powerful propaganda mechanisms polished during 45 years of Cold War. Those journalistic patterns causes most western journalists (not without help of their political handlers as independent journalism in the USA is a joke) treat Russia as a failed state. Not simply a country that temporary dropped out of the world civilization, but the country is doomed to such a drop by the several immanent features such as "national character", climate, landmass, religion, history, etc.

From Dr. MacFaul quotes above it is clear that in the American media and among American politicians Russia occupies a marginal position. After the Soviet Union is gone, they mostly cares about getting assets on pennies per dollar (behaviour of criminals like Mr. Browder, whom McFaul loves so much, exemplifies such an attitude) and to lesser extent about Russia military capabilities, which are still a risk. Although I doubt that.

From the typical US behavior it looks like American politicians are not really interested in any other aspect of Russian situation, other then energy resources (Khodorkovsky is a new saint in the USA, probably for his failed attempt to sell Russia oil resources to US companies). And he is new puppet in the show of finding the possibilities of regime change and installing a puppet regime as they unsuccessfully tried in 2011-2012. They still miss Yeltsin drunk regime and Gaidar-Chubais neoliberal gang, which almost converted Russia into kleptocracy from which Putin tried gradually to extract it with great and not always successful efforts.

It all comes down to a set of cliché: Russia is corrupt (while in reality this is a immanent feature of all neoliberal regimes and first of all the USA, the most corrupt neoliberal regime in existence) , does not respect human rights (unlike Saudis) and does not play by the rules (unlike Libya rebels), is not democratic (unlike Qatar). Russia seems to them so weak and uninteresting, not worthy of a real partnership dialogue. And is arrogant enough not to agree with the status of vassal so she needs to be taken care of:

"To promote liberty requires first the containment and then the elimination of those forces opposed to liberty, be they individuals, movements, or regimes. " - M. McFaul, The Liberty Doctrine: Reclaiming the purpose of American power. Policy Review April & May 2002 The Liberty Doctrine Hoover Institution

Such an ungrateful jerks, who jailed Dick Cheney best friend Khodorkovsky, squeezed this perfectly honest guy, exemplary "the largest portfolio investor in Russia, British citizen William Browder" (Who, BTW, was the USA citizen until recently, but suddenly changed his mind) and so on and so forth. They should be "regime changed". It is like the relationship between schoolchildren, when a bully see a threat on the school yard and acts preemptively.

Very well orchestrated Russophobia campaign of Western MSM

The first thing that surprise me is a very well "coordinated" level of Russophobia demonstrated by Western MSM. The degree of Russophobia in Western press varies very little be it Guardian, or NYT, or BBC or WashPost. As financial oligarchy controls the MSM you can't expect anything different. They act as a pack of dogs. Typical level is treating Russian as forever damned barbarians. Slightly more advanced is treating Russia a legitimate playground for testing the controversial socio-economic doctrines like shock therapy and a land were any foreign crook is entitled to get rich fast (like Browder did ). But the essence is the same, no right for "national sovereignty", no right for any "special way". Those concepts are simply outside a typical Western press journalists "template" that their editors enforce.

As John Drury noted in his comment to U.S. Russia Withheld Intel on Boston Bomb Suspect - WSJ.com

Ridiculous comments populate the blogs, the op eds and the comment sections of most sites. But what unsettles me more is the rabid Russian phobia (call it "Russophobia") which populates the American press (liberal/conservative).

We never see things from the Russian side. It is always Putin who is up to no good, Vladimir, the monster, the balding fool with no shirt flexing his muscles. This is not the Cold War, yet we have not shed our Cold War biases.

See Propaganda and The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment for more information

Two types of Russophobes: "Russophobes by conviction" vs. "Russophobes for money"

Russophobia is a form of racism and studies of other forms of racism such as anti-Semitism are applicable here.

It is a prejudice against, hatred of, or discrimination against Russian people as an ethnic, religious, or racial group. In Baltic states it is close to regime of Apartheid. In Ukraine it has a form of suppression of Russian language and culture

Russophobes by conviction

I have an impression on the personal level sincere and acute Russophobia (not to be mixed with Russophobia as a official line ) can be a compensation mechanism (classic Adorno). I am not talking here about ideological prostitution typical for MSM journalists. But on individual level it looks like projection not that different from other national bigotry and the undisputable and provable fact is that the USA and, especially, Great Britain MSM serves as an "Incubator of hatred" toward Russia. Of course this also tells something very important about the US/GB governments.

I suspect that those who adopt Russophobia position not for money (let's call them "sincere Russophobes") have a personality of sectants/fanatics in a very deep sense of this word. Or like Eric Hoffer called them "True Believers" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True_Believer).

For though ours is a godless age, it is the very opposite of irreligious. The true believer is everywhere on the march, and both by converting and antagonizing he is shaping the world in his own image. And whether we are to line up with him or against him, it is well that we should know all we can concerning his nature and potentialities.

In a way sincere Russophobe's are almost extinct minority (but still can be found among Ukrainian nationalists ;-).

Russophobes for money

There a legion of "Russophobes for money". People who are profiting personally from Russophobia nonsense they spew. This is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way. At best they are average with very few exceptions (Belkovski might be one exception). In a way we can view it as a survival tactic of people with mediocre talent in conditions of high competition. Similar displacement into obscure niches can be observed for mediocre people in other professions.

This "Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.

"Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.

Cold War II as an attempt to slow down the pace of Russia modernization and preserve it as an "oil drum" for the West

Cold War II is rooted not in Ukrainian event (The EuroMaydan coup d'état was organized by the USA and Western powers; Crimea was only a pretext) but is closely connected with the neocon attempts to slow down the pace of Russia modernization and secure Russia status as resource vassal of the USA. Here is a part of discussion from Kremlin Stooge that touch this theme in relation to Skolkovo techno-park.

kievite:
April 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm

This is a very apt comment and I wish that your observation comes true. But the problem is that as you :

"The forces arrayed against Russia are sufficiently formidable and sufficiently unrelenting "

First of all the West is rich enough to finance substantial fifth column, especially fifth column media (official $70 millions for support of NGO and "alternative" press is just a tip of iceberg). That’s the essence of neo-colonialism do nothing new here. Also a large part of elite is already linked to the West and is not interested in any confrontation. Nothing new here too.

So the discussion about what level of state capitalism is beneficial (or where Medvedev should stop with his "second liberalization") is complex and far from purely technical one. External forces should be taken into account and once in a while liberalization companies to placate the West are not completely bad idea no matter how you view neoliberalism: state capitalism requires periodic "purges" (Stalin well understood that) and "liberalization" and, especially "fight with corruption" provides perfect pretext for purges. If one looks at some Medvedev’s actions from this angle and you might well come to conclusion that it might be not complete sell-off but a more complex game.

In situation when you need to purge excesses of state capitalism West can serve as a natural ally and in such situation slogan of cat Leopold "Rebyata davayte zhit’ druzhno" (Let’s be friends) suddenly became politically viable at least among the pro-Western part of the elite. And the idea of periodic moving the pendulum from "higher statism" to "higher private enterprise support" in order to avoid stagnation, say, each seven-ten year period is not completely absurd. The main question is whether the process runs out of control or not.

Another possible contention point is that sooner of later oil flow will start diminishing and with it revenues will also start dropping. Currently there are too few industries that can replace the flow the oil dollars. Attempt to revitalize some of the existing heavy industries under the flag of liberalization, if done clever is not a bad idea.

And as much as everybody here hates neoliberalism it is very clear about who should be the victim and provides an ideological justification for cruel actions against own population. Like Bolshevism, it proved to be an extremely potent weapon of convincing population to act against their own economic interests (see What’s the matter with Kansas for details). Perfect tool for the brainwashing "peasants" if you wish, very important when "Pryanikov sladkih vsegna ne hvataet na vseh" (Okudzhava ).

marknesop
April 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm I believe the oil money will go on for some time yet. Current practices are sloppy and inefficient, and more oil could be realized with better, more modern techniques, as well as new discoveries coming online. However, an early start on overhauling general business practices would be time and money well spent.

Medvedev should draw a lesson from Skolkovo. This is a project he has personally sponsored and touted as Russia’s official debut in the high-tech sector. Western response, overall, has been withering and contemptuous, although some major commercial figures (such as Microsoft) have offered early investment optimism. Collective opinion seems to be that Russia will use the new tech city as a base from which to steal foreign technology secrets from investors, or that it will be a dismal failure because Russians have no real ideas of their own. The west is likely to greet other initiatives by Medvedev in the same manner – hearty laughter, followed by offers to come in and make western-style changes for him, in exchange for certain considerations.

kievite
April 14, 2011 at 1:21 am

Very true. Thanks for the response.

You are right: Skolkovo is fuzzy (what exactly is "high-tech") initiative as first of all Medvedev can’t abolish brain-drain and that what will happens with the most talented researchers. The only realistic bait he has is blocking the companies from entering Russian market unless they provide considerable degree of localization and require that some fraction of research be performed in such parks. That’s a variant of policy that China successfully used. But if Russia joins WTO, tariff barriers to protect domestic producers in vital sectors will be more difficult to erect.

At the same time autarky does not work either. So maneuvering between those Scylla of globalization and Charybdis of autarky requires top political skills from the captain of the ship.

Some sectors of Russian heavy industry already are proved abroad and products already have some competitive advantage and export markets. That’s where this comparative advantage needs to be preserved and enhanced with help of techno-parks. State subsidized R&D is really important here and can be provided via small university based local techno parks. This would an excellent employment opportunity for most talented students who otherwise might emigrate and such parks not necessary need any foreign participation. This is especially important if company is partially state owned, as this along with having reps at the board that protects the investment. OK, I would agree, that it’s not necessary need to be people on minister level. It would be sad if he really wants not to reform or improve, but to dismantle state capitalism.

The real problem here that without oil revenue Russia gets into zugzwang. Hopefully, as you noted, that will not be soon.

marknesop
April 14, 2011 at 3:30 am

Yes, you’re right about Skolkovo; I did a piece on it awhile back (here) and Chinese tech parks were cited as an example. It’s funny how the west is all gaga over China, and just brushes off the fact that China has a considerably more predatory business model than does Russia; China shamelessly raids the west for business information and constantly tests them for weaknesses which might be exploited. But, obtusely, it’s Russia that’s held up as the consummate corporate raider.

I believe if Russia were allowed to join the WTO, fewer barriers would be necessary. There’s no reason foreign companies shouldn’t have to contribute to the local economy, but they should receive tradeoffs as well such as low corporate tax rates, and that was one of the considerations. Medvedev seems determined that Skolkovo will succeed, while some elements in the west are just as determined it will be a failure. We’ll see. Russia is a world leader in medical research, and I understand that will be a big part of Skolkovo as well.

Does Russia represent an alternative to the neoliberal economic/social model?

It is difficult to say where Putin's brand of mixture of neoliberal and state capitalism get him and Russian people. I would say that the answer is "reserved no". Currently Russia, while opposing the US hegemony does not provide an alternative economic model. And that's the weakness of "Putinism".

Here is a left-biased, but still very interesting assessment of the situation along similar lines: "All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. " ([Oct 21, 2014] Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values?):

2014/10/19 | Sociología crítica

Danos tu opinión

Un amable lector de este blog ha realizado un resumen en inglés de nuestro artículo Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar; es un resumen diferente al que nosotros hubiéramos hecho, pero de interés sin duda alguna. Ha sido publicado como apoyo a una pregunta en un coloquio con el economista ruso Mikhail Khazin organizado por The vineyard of the saker. Publicaremos aquí la respuesta.

Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values? / Arturo

For context to the question I will provide a translation / paraphrase / summary of some key points in the following article Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar

The article contains and numbers many more points (36 in total) but I have translated/summarized only the first 14 (the rest is provided is a very raw translation --NNB)

  1. Moscow cannot defeat the American plans – i.e. the Anglo Zionist world elite – without contradicting the class interests of its own elites (Russian oligarchs): This is impossible because the system of sanctions and the blocking of access to their accounts and assets in the West generates such contradictions in the Russian power elites that, in practice, it prevents them from reacting adequately; it puts them on their knees before the America.
  2. Russia *could* resist those plans, since it possesses the strength, sense of identity, historical memory and material resources to do so. But in order to do so, its ruling elites would have to take measures that would affect their own class status within both the Russian system and the international system. And we can see that these are measures they are not willing to take. On the other hand, the Anglo Zionists suffer no such internal contradiction. Quite the opposite, in fact: Their own interest as the supporting base of the globalist hyperclass necessarily forces them to maintain the challenge to the end.
  3. By the term Anglo Zionists, in this analysis, we mean the dominant power group whose territorial and military base resides in the United States, and whose center originates in the historical and social links of the Anglo-American oligarchies, branching off to other historical central metropolis in Europe or other power centers in different parts of the world.
  4. The concept is made up of two elements that must be explained: the first, the “anglo” reference, has to do with the North American British connection [...] the second, the “zionist” reference, has to do with the interconnection among the economic and financial power groups that maintain various kinds of links with Israel. It is not so much a reference to ethnic origin, but rather to orientations as groups or lobbies of political and economic interests. A good part of this Zionist component consists of people who are neither Israelis nor Jews, but who feel identified with the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, Britain and other countries. Thus the term “zionist” referees here to an ideology, not to an ethnic origin.
  5. The Anglo elites on both sides of the Atlantic have evolved from being national elites to being the executive base of a world Hyperclass made up of individuals capable of exerting a determining influence in the most powerful nation, the United States.
  6. The result of the Anglo Zionist line of attack is that the contradiction and internal struggle is now occurring in Moscow between those who have already chosen to sell out and those who have not yet found the time to realize that a multipolar global capitalism is not viable.
  7. In this context, recovering Crimea was a mirage, an illusion.
  8. If we compare the implications of the Maidan coup in Kiev with the liberation of Crimea, we see that the strategic defeat implicit in losing Ukraine as an ally is of such magnitude that everything else pales by co s (all of them) in Kiev was so gigantic that its implications are frightening. It was either a failure or something even worse. In any case, the Crimea affair was merely a small episode in a confrontation that Russia is losing.
  9. Russia arrived very late at modern capitalism, and that is why its current elite will be unable to occupy a space among the globalist elite without paying the necessary toll, which is none other than renouncing its territorial power base – its country and its access to and control of its energy resources and raw materials.
  10. Stubbornly maintaining the dispute in trying to obtain a multi-polar capitalism, leads necessarily to a intra-capitalist confrontation, as it did in 1914-1918. And because of the nature of the current actors, nuclear powers … it brings the conflict to 2.0 war versions (color revolutions)
  11. All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. It can only elicit some empathy from those who reject the American domination, but here the class contradictions come into play again, because it is not enough to oppose Washington merely on political-military grounds, since the key to global power resides in the financial and military structures that enable global control and plunder: World Trade Organization, IMF, Free Trade agreements, World Bank, NATO… these are entities in relation to which Russia only shows its displeasure at not being invited to the table as an equal, not accepting that because it arrived late at modern capitalism, it must play a secondary role. On the other hand, Russia is ignoring the deep contempt, bordering on racism, that things Slavic generate among Anglo Zionist elites.
  12. In order to be able to fight the 2.0 versions of war that are engineered today, an alternative social model is needed. Alternative not only in regard to the postmodern vs. traditional sets of values, but fundamentally in regard to the social model that stems from the modes of production. In the postmodern vs. traditional conflict, Russia tends to align with the most reactionary values. And in regard to the social struggle, they don’t want to enter that fray because they renounced it long ago. They renounced the entire Soviet Union, which they destroyed from within.
  13. The contradictions and the dialectical nature of reality have their own logic, however. Thus, a coup in Kiev and the widespread appearance of Nazi symbols in the streets of Ukraine was all that it took to induce a spontaneous reaction in the Slavic world. The popular resistance in the Donbass took strong root thanks to the historic memory of the people’s of the old USSR and its war against fascism.
  14. If Russia were to abandon Novorossia to the oligarchs and their mafias, the world’s “left” – or whatever remains of it — would come to scorn post-Soviet Russia even more than it already does. In the months following the brave action in Crimea and the heroic resistance in the Donbass, many people around the world looked to Moscow in search of some sign that it would support the anti-fascist and anti-oligarchic resistance, even if only as an act of self-defense by Moscow against the globalist challenge. If it finally abandons Novorossia, the price in terms of loss of moral prestige will be absolute.
  15. A support of the left has not been sought, but that is a collateral consequence of the character of class struggle open that has been given in the Donbas, where Russia has been forced to provide some assistance that would prevent the genocide at the hands of the fascist Ukrainian.
  16. Cuando say left, we refer logically to the one who has expressed their support to the struggle of people in the Donbas, as it is very difficult to consider the "left" to those who have preferred to remain silent or to have directly been complicit in the assault, and the coup in Kiev.
  17. The degradation of the left as politically active social force is very intense, their structures are embroiled in the collapse, or in the confusion, when not literally corrupt. Then related to both socialist parties since 1914 and the communists, at least from the time of fracture of 1956. The social changes experienced in Europe with the systems of welfare state, based on the elevation of the standard of living of the working population and the obtaining of social peace by sharing the power with the trade unions are at the base of the post-industrial society and the resulting profound changes of values.

    The suicide of the USSR in 1989-93 marked a brutal global change , in which the balance which was preserved during the cold war was broken. That led to the capitalist elite in the west, which we are calling the Anglo-Zionists, to the suspension of the social pact (forced abandonment of New Deal), that gave rise to the welfare state and the emergence stark reality of a global power of capitalists without systemic opposition . Today the whole neoliberal globalization system of capitalism is in danger by the depletion of the natural resources. And to sustain this mode of production, they need to speed up territorial domination in the form of control and access to resources of other countries. Now there no space in the global system for spaces, which are managed autonomously even to a certain level.

  18. The system of global domination, capitalism, ruling elites with a territorial basis in the area of Anglo-American, global parasitic Hyperclass and depletion of resources, as well as cannibalization of the other nations, in the midst of troika of crisis of climate change, peak of the energy and raw materials shortages. those three factors that challenge the current globalization framework ... And the crisis of Novorossia, been demonstrated both impotence and the lack of real political autonomy of Russian elite with the respect to the dominant power in neoliberal worlds order..
  19. The new citizen movements in the western world are not so much resistance movements as samples of the discontent of the middle classes in precarious position of marginalization and/or social trance. This protest led to a "Maidans" which are not permanent and does not question the basis of the system. The participants seems to believe that it is possible to restore the old good world of the welfare state.
  20. The western movements are brainwashed by messages emanating from the headquarters of Democratic party of North America, the propaganda anarcho-capitalist and the various networks of ideological interference, are managing to break the bonds of historical memory that unite the struggles of the past with the present, de-ideologize the struggles and conflicts and to deny the tension left and right, isolating the militants -- or simple citizens who feel identified with the values of the left - of the masses who are suffering in the first place casualisation. At the heart of this new "left" are leaders that are co-opted voices, pseudo-intellectuals who destroy the words and empty of content of key concepts in a way that the alienation of the masses demonstrate at the language itself, thus preventing putting a real name to social process and things, and to identify the social phenomena.
  21. Viva to Russia, which the only country which eve in a weak form decided to fight neoliberal world order and position itself as an anti-imperialist force... It is interesting to observe the current great moral confusion in political landscape of the societies in decay. Confusion which have been stimulated by Moscow actions. As the result some the far-right groups that are simultaneously anti-US that anti-Russian now support Moscow. Also some part of Russia far-right political groups got the sympathy and support of factions of the anti EU far right forces in France, the Nazis of the MSR in Spain, and from small groups of euro-asianists. This line of political affiliation will allow them to simply join the Russia failure [to find alternative to monopolar neoliberal capitalism] and might well discredit then more profoundly in the future.
  22. The euro-asianists forces technically speaking are reactionary forces, neoliberal forces which is comparable to the worst of the worst in the western world. Moreover, they do not have any way to solve the main contradictions that arise in the current neoliberal model in the terms of class and dominance of Anglo Zionist global elite.
  23. Euro-Asianism is just a suitable ideology for the construction of Russian national idea for those who seeks to achieve lease to life for Russia sovereignty on the world stage. It is the actual proof that Russia has come too late to globalised capitalism and fascism...
  24. Huttington and his war of civilizations cynically exploit this confrontation on Anglo Zionist elite and newcomers, redefining it along the idea of the clash of civilizations which avoid using the notion of class and thus is ideologically false. Alexander Duguin who promote similar ideas quite seriously just shows the degree of degeneration of the Russian intelligentsia, which oscillates between serving as comprador class to the global Anglo Zionist elite and the repetition (as a farce, and with 75 years of delay ) of fascist reactionary revolutions in Western Europe, which were phenomenon of the interwar period (rexistas in Belgium, Croix de feu in France, CruzFlechados in Hungary, Requetés and Falangistas in Spain).
  25. The globalist elite offered a solution formulated in class terms, as it could not be another way: in the best cases, they proposes the co-optation to a handful of members of the Russian elite as deserving members of the new global Hyperclass, but this path is opened only the very very rich, and the pre-condition is the delivery of the country to plunder, where the global elite certainly would have need of some compradors which will be more or less adequately compensated depending on their achievements and sacrifices in the name of global neoliberal domination.
  26. The part of the power elite of Russia, which managed to expel the western compradors of the Yeltsin era, and rein in the oligarchs then, had tried with some success to regain control of the territory of the country. The illusion of the members of this part of the power elite -- basically the security services, both civil and military, and various synergies of those with the military-industrial lobby -- is that it would be enough to neutralize the Russian fifth column of the Anglo Zionists to take back control of their territorial base of power. this idea is going to be shredded into pieces when it enter into contradiction with the reality of the class struggle and interests of the elite at the global level. Russia is, for its size, influence, and resources, so huge that a line of action based on the defense of its sovereignty strategic enters in collision with the global power of neoliberalism. And that why it attracts disproportional reaction of the Anglo Zionists
  27. Supporters of Anglo Zionists that are ready to consent to a German-Russian alliance or Russia-EU alliance that give the viability of a idea of mutually beneficial co-development of both Russia and Europe are forgetting that such an action would require European sovereignty. Which is was non-existent iether on the level of the EU, or on the level of member states. The penetration of the Atlantism in Europe is already systemic. In the old European states there are still ancient national traditions, which were based on the basis of cultural, industrial, economic, and political identity. And they still run strong. But in the current situation for such states there no space for the sovereignty as the dominant power bloc in the national elite as well as in EU elite are Atlantists. Where this situation takes the Russian elite and the Russian state without confrontation? A confrontation that they, on the other hand are not willing and are not able to pursue.
  28. The multi-polar capitalist world had its lifespan which come to an end (exploded) in 1914. In 2014, the globalization of the elites and the capital is of such magnitude that no serious resistance is possible on the basis of some capitalist model. In those conditions the idea of Russian elite ability to enforce change to multipolar version of the currently monopolar neoliberal world is doomed to be a failure.
  29. Zbigniew Brezinsky has raised things crudely and openly, unlike the ("fake") supporters of perestroika, and their current heirs in Russia. Brezinsky know how to think in terms of the class contradiction and knows perfectly well that the Russian oligarchy has directed its monetary flows abroad, moved families abroad, and moved their investments abroad. That means that Anglo Zionists can disrupt any claim of sovereignty over the territory and resources by simply pressing the local neoliberal elite, giving them to choose between their interests as a class and their illusionary desire for sovereignty. Because in a globalized world, with its brutal fight for the natural resources there is no possibility of maintaining both, except what can be achieved in terms of direct anti-imperialist struggle. There is no space for the national bourgeoisies in the XXI century. You can only have sovereignty if it is posed in terms of a rupture with the actually existing neoliberal order of global capitalism, which, in its core is Anglo Zionists globalization. This break does not have to be forced, but in terms of scientific analysis of the social processes is a logical consequence of following this path one way or the other. To claim sovereignty over their own resources and territory inevitably leads to confrontation, and logical needs a break up and confront the Anglo Zionist empire. If you really want to achieve the goal. And that fact imposes the logic of the relationships and balance of power in the world today.
  30. The claims of the BRIC countries -- to the extent that you do not question them -- is that they have an alternative model to the dominant neoliberal capitalism model (Ango Zionist globalization with the center in the USA) are doomed to be a failure. The efforts of the BRIC countries can generate a lot of noise and discomfort for the West, but they can not break the global neoliberal system. Those countries are rightfully fearful of their budget balances -- which are very fragile. It can be even said that they are on their way to implosion sooner or later, due to the unbalanced structure of their internal classes, including first of all their own elite.
  31. The claim that it is possible to achieve the multipolar capitalist world (which Russia defends) and which led to current Ukrainian crisis without confrontation is false. As soon as Russia wanted to return to the global chessboard. as an independent player, they instantly saw opponents attacking weak elements of their defense at the borders. Ukraine has been a defeat for Russia and the Crimea is not a adequate compensation for loss of Ukraine. Now Novorossia is being sacrificed precisely because the class contradictions that have emerged in Moscow and lack of desire of Russian elite to go the bitter end.
  32. The situation in the Donbas / Novorossia clearly shows the resignation of Moscow to the victory, and their desire to avoid the clash with neoliberal world order. The fact is that Royal Dutch Shell has already begun the fracking in the Donbas, the coup regime in Kiev are already internationally accepted without reservations, the truce imposed in Novorossia has brought to its knees the armed resistance to junta. All this leads way to deliver Novorossia to the hands of mafias sponsored by the local oligarchs with friends in Kiev and Moscow.
  33. Statement that the destiny of Russia was played in the Donbas is something more than a phrase, It is a claim based on a reality, as the defeat of Novorossia would be the proof that Moscow had not the will to struggle. The betrayal of the fighters and the hopes of Novorossia is the acceptance of the defeat and might lead in the future to the victory to the Moscow Maidan, the same alliance of compradors and nationalists using which as storm troopers the globalist elite achieved their goal in Ukraine. If Novorossia is defeated, they can expect being able to push a puppet into the Kremlin the same way. And not without reason. This summer, the heroic struggle of the militia of the Donbas was the key element that forced the changes of the script designed for Kiev as well as diminished chances of successful application of the same methods in Moscow. The Minsk Agreements and the truce imposed by them are putting Novorossia on its knees, allowing for its destruction, but this time at the hands of their allies. Sad spectacle for the Russian security services, which were effective enough to organize the Donbas resistance, but now are useless and powerless before the neofascist Kiev junta.
  34. The struggle of the Donbas does not correspond to the strategic interests of the Russian elite. They have been forced to intervene to prevent the horror of the mass murder of the population of the Donbas at the hands of the extreme right. But the dream of a Donbas free of oligarchs and with a sovereign state, committed to social justice for workers on this Slavic land are completely incompatible with the post-soviet status quo. Only to the extent that there is a significant faction of Russian elite aware of the contradictions of the global neoliberal game and who put their sense of patriotism first can lead them to face the challenge that they face. Only in this case there would be any possibility of resistance; I would say patriotic resistance, because we already know no one at the top is able to think in terms of class.
  35. While very unlikely - there can be a move from February to October in Novorossia. You would say impossible. But he insurrection of the Donbas in March, logically was "February". In order to achieve victory, to take full control over the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk needs creation of the Revolutionary Military Council and suspension of the upcoming elections. which looking to be a smokescreen for capitulation to junta. They need to declare that they are ready to resist to the end. This output would be desperate move, without a doubt, and would represent the equivalent of a new "October". The event which of it occurs would force Moscow to show their cards to their own population. And perhaps it can help to generate a pulse necessary for the organization of the fight with Anglo Zionists empire between the towers of the Kremlin. That would move the fight toward more patriotic and popular goals, But this presuppose a lot of assumptions and first of all that such a "Kremlin tower", which is capable of emitted such a pulse, exists. Only in this case we can talk about achieving a real sovereignty. As Vasily Záitsev in Stalingrad suggested: "Maybe we're doomed, but for the moment we are still the masters and lords of our land." In Novorossia there are plenty of fighters who would agree with Záitsev, but they certainly lack political direction and, now the lack the support of Kremlin.
  36. The Russian objective is achieving a multipolar capitalism with a Russia united under a nationalist ideology based on the manipulation of patriotic sentiment, Orthodoxy and various Slavic myths. This objective is being challenged by the reality of the conflict, which should be defined in terms of geopolitical goals. The reality is that the Russian elite would be allowed to control their population as they wish, provided they renounce its sovereignty over territory and resources, renounce their physical power base, i.e. homeland. This is the nature of the challenge. Putin is mistaken if he thinks that the Grand Patriarch has the answer in their holy books. There is not enough incense in the Kremlin cathedrals to mask that reality.”

Demonization of Putin as part of Russophobia

The Demonization of Putin is Not a Policy.
It is an Alibi for the Absence of One

Henry Kissinger

Now let's discuss attempts to demonize Putin by Western MSM. They can be understood only in context of rabid Russophobia of US neocons and their poodles in GB and other Western countries (especially in Germany).

Being tactful of Putin is one thing that I would not criticize the US press for ;-). If only because the track record disqualify them from lecturing, but because one simple fact: I remember how they covered the Chechen disaster and how they covered Iraq invasion by the USA. I strongly dislike Chechen war, as do most Russians. However, it is true that Chechen fundamentalists financed by Saudis have killed hundreds of Caucasian and Russian civilians and were a real threat to the Russian society, whereas the Iraqis were no practical threat to the USA.

Another problem with demonizing Putin is that no one in the US political system is willing to criticize the policies of Boris Yeltsin, which ruined the majority of Russian people, falsified elections and included criminals in his inner circle under close guidance of the USA. Sometime it looks to me that the real Axis of Evil runs somewhere between K Street and Constitution Avenue.

And in addition most of US neocons who dominated the USA foreign policy establishment sincerely consider themselves the only game in town. While understanding very little, or absolutely nothing about other countries. And that is statement is equally applicable to neocons dominated MSM such as NYT and Wash Post. American exeptionalism is uniquely blinding phenomenon.

It is actually pretty sad to read the infinite low of articles written without any desire to understand the complex situation in modern Russia. Neocons analytics in regard to Russia is nauseating propaganda. The logic behind such articles is invariably hostile. Moscow either weak or repressive or both. If Moscow sees some processes as a threat, it is racist, if it just lets it happen, it is weak.

No good solution for Russia ever exists according to these people. And it would be better for Russia and the rest of the world if it disappears from the face of Earth as quickly as possible.

See Demonization of Putin for more details.

Apartheid regime in Baltic countries as part of Russophobia campaign launched after dissolution of the USSR

Another influential part of world Russophobic community are Apartheid regimes established in Baltic countries with the direct help of the USA government and, especially, USA emigrant organizations. Western Ukraine also fit this scenario (after EuroMaidan putsch Western Ukrainian when far right nationalists came to power).

Baltic countries refuse to provide citizenship to people of different ethnicity who lawfully lived in them during the USSR period (which lasted half a century or so). Here is an insightful take on Russophobia from veteran Novosty journalist by Pyotr Romanov

A Dispassionate View on Russophobia

10/04/2006

Ability to write about Russophobia dispassionately is similar to the ability to maintain dignity when somebody unexpectedly poor a dirty water all over your head. However, as far as possible, try to talk about this phenomenon, no offense. We will not resent the fact that the "Russian, according to British press - the most stupid in the world." Smile at the argument that the "war against Napoleon won the non-Russian, and lice." We will not discuss with the Japanese man in the street, which feels an antipathy to us, among other things because all the cold storms come on the street it from Russia.

Forget about the Finns, who, according to Western opinion polls, do not love us more than any foreigners. And this at a time when, according to domestic opinion polls, that the Finns have the highest Russian sympathies.

What to do: love evil. In short, keep yourself in hand. It is better to remember the words of George Nathaniel Curzon Marquis, Viceroy of India and at the time the British Foreign Minister: "Every Englishman comes to Russia as Russophobe, and left as a Russophile" This means that in the basis of antipathy towards the Russian lies ignorance and myths. Partly born of life itself, partly by skillful professionals employed by our political opponents: there is such a thing as information warfare. And this is not limited to the Soviet period, but can be traced since ancient times. The disappearance of the Soviet Union did not affect Russophobia much. "New Thinking", which Gorbachev dreamed about never materialized. There is also historical memory. If we talk about ethnophobias, this is an inexhaustible source of poisoned water.

We can present many additional examples, but even from what has been said above, it is clear that the problem is multifaceted and so deeply ingrained in the mind of a typical Western person (to say nothing about establishment -- NNB) that for Russians it is better to forget about an illusion that it can be cured or even drastically changed. Each countermeasure is only a palliative solution.

Thus we should not deceive ourselves - any countermeasure is only palliative. Russophobia glow can be reduced, but to end it might be impossible as is the case with other ethnophoibias.

However, even to lower the level of Russophobia is a difficult undertaking which requires considerable intellectual efforts and financial investments. In addition, the Russian professionals in the field of foreign media (or propaganda, sorry for such old-fashioned word) are long time already listed in the "red book". After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new government decided that the professionals who know how to work with foreign media are no longer needed, everything will be done automatically: our friends Bill and Helmut will help. In extreme cases, retired professionals can be without problems replaced by the young and energetic sneakers merchants. It did not happen. Meanwhile, the bad image of Russia means for the country significant economic and political losses.

When it comes to Russophobia, the questions usually turns out to be a surplus, but the answers, even the most sophisticated, almost always may be subject to reasoned criticism. This is further evidence of the complexity and ambiguity of the problem. For example, surveys carried out by foreigners, record that in recent years the attitude to the Russian in almost all countries around the world deteriorated. It would seem that there is nothing to rejoice, meanwhile, history has repeatedly argued that a weakened Russia is far less negative feelings abroad than Russia on the path to recovery, when she, like Phoenix, once again rises from the ashes. Thus, the sharp deterioration of perceptions of Russia by foreigners can simultaneously be a sign that Moscow is perusing a wrong policy, and, conversely, that is peruse absolutely correct policy. It is difficult to sort out.

By the way, if we were talking about the West here, it is curious to see how the West steps for many centuries on the same rake. Whenever Russia is experiencing the most difficult times, Western politicians, believing Russia is close to death, begin to seriously talk about her vivisection, and, conversely, when the "deceased" Russia suddenly opens his eyes, the West falls into mortal fear and hysteria. So it was during the Troubled Times, when the Poles, Swedes and British tried to split Russian lands apart. Under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, when Russia was still weakened Western Europe for the sake of preserving peace in its own backyard identified zones of expansion of the major European powers: our motherland, according to this "peace plan", was granted to the Swedes. The only thing that did not consider the German philosopher, mathematician, lawyer and theologian, Gottfried Leibniz -- the author of this ingenious plan -- the birth of Peter the Great. By the end of the reign of Peter Sweden ceased to be a great power, Russia become an empire, and a Russian soldier, frightened Europe to such hiccups, from which it can not escape for a long time.

Then there was the defeat in the Crimean War, which, as it seemed to many European politicians, forever cemented lag Russian from the outside world, but came to the liberal reforms of Alexander II, who once again raised Russia from its knees. Later there was a First World, revolution, civil war, and those event immediately generated Churchill plan to put an end to Russia once and forever, dismembering her to pieces. And this project also ended in failure, but instead came back scared the West Europeans almost to death, the Soviet Union.

Finally, the collapse of the USSR has created new hopes, and the emergence of a Russian helm of Putin produced a new disappointment: hatred intermixed with fear. Here are typical in the West, the view expressed by one of the Italian journalists: "The USSR is considered a country, lost forever. The recent emergence of Russia as a nation state was a bolt from the sky. " And that's madam did not know yet what order book of Russian defense enterprises in the past year increased by 61%, as recently reported by Russian President. Thunder would be simply deafening.

In short, we are dealing with a déjà vu all over gain: the same way foreign press treated Russia in Europe and after the Troubled Times and after the Crimean War, and after the Revolution of 1917 .

Of course, the fact that due to the fear of Russian bear whose jaws are in Europe, and the tail is located in the Far East, simultaneously flourish Russophobia, does not make Russians happy. But I personally, if we have to choose, prefer to have a strong Russia with a undesirable side effect in the form of Russophobia, than the Russian bear's skin over the fireplace in some western office, which the owner, proudly showing visitors, affectionately scratching behind his ear. Without experiencing any of Russophobia!

Are there any tools that would provide the West at least a middle ground between a pathological fear of Russian and not less pathological contempt for her? I think it is. All I will not enumerate them all. But one thing worth mentioning is mandatory. Necessary, finally, once and for all clear the historic debris, which is really to blame Russian. We can remember, say, Russian-Polish friction because of Katyn. The fact that Stalin's regime committed a crime, we know the whole world, but Russia, including the modern Russia, could not find the courage to tell the whole truth about the Polish tragedy. If you want to, once again apologize, and most importantly to pass, finally, Warsaw, all at our disposal documents. In the end, there are still living relatives of the victims, who have every right to know how their relatives died. Why this is not done until now, I can not understand, especially because the crime is committed not this generation, but fundamentally different, the Stalinist regime.

At the same time, giving the necessary debt, in my opinion, in any case we can not forget about our own claims. Unlike its neighbors, we all too easy to forgive, but it does not promote respect for Russia. Yes, there was Katyn. But until it was no less terrible fate of the Russian prisoners who fell into the hands of the Poles after the failure of the famous Tukhachevsky offensive of Warsaw. There are undeniable evidence how they treated those prisoners, both in Russia and the West. Division of assistance to POW in Poland of the American Union of Christian youth on October 20, 1920 noted that the Russian prisoners were kept in deplorable conditions: indoors, totally unsuitable for housing, with no furniture, sleeping aids, and most importantly - no glass in the windows, despite the cold. In the prisoners had no shoes, clothing, medicines, not enough medical personnel, food. All of the above, conclude U.S. observers, leads "to the rapid extinction of prisoners of war." Really dying by the thousands. No wonder the Lviv newspaper "Forward" December 22, 1920 calls Tuchola camp a "death camp". Thus, Katyn and Tuchola stand side by side. And it is necessary to treat this and ask the Poles of repentance for the brutal treatment of Russian. By the way, we should not have any illusion. About the same barbaric way the Red Army prisoners of war were treated, Baltic states treated the White Army Yudenich forces which retreat to their land. They allowed to passed then through the border in small groups, then confiscated all the weapon, after another mile all the valuables, and then clothes. So they beat is on the based on ideology but simply because they were Russians. Defending our ancestors who were subjected to abuse, we are seeking not only justice but also of self-respect. Man, do not mindful of kinship, respect is not deserved.

However, even if it has been said above about Russophobia, only a small drop in the cap or a smallest piece of a huge iceberg.

In addition, there is still the main problem, without deal with which all the fighting Russophobia is meaningless. This problem is ourselves: our standard of living, our culture, the development of our civil society, our internal and foreign policy, our military and economic power. Weak are always subject to humiliation: that is, unfortunately, human nature.

Any countermeasures -- although without them it situation might get worse -- no matter how sophisticated and skilled as they are, still no substitute for that, I'm talking about. So, first of all, to deal with all of us Russophobia requires a healthy and strong Russia. The fact that in this country and to live pleasantly, of course.

The old wisdom says, to be respected around, start to start to respect himself - a thing that you have created with their own hands.

And there, staring, reconsider their views on the Russian, even touchy Finns.

Coverage of Russia in Western MSMs resembles war propaganda

The Western media even before the Ukrainian Maidan was broadcast events in Russia exclusively in a negative way. Attempts are being made to discredit almost all Russian initiatives and projects, ranging from the Olympics to the elections of the President, etc. For the implementation of anti-Russian propaganda standard techniques of "projection" polished in color revolutions were used. That includes activization via NGOs of the opposition media and opposition figures within the country. The set of  "prisoners of conscience" was created from   academics, businessmen and politicians, who, for various reasons, wished to leave Russia for the West. Corrupt businessmen, who escaped to the West to avoid prosecution in Russia became prisoner of conscience and political oppositionist on the moment they cross the border. Anti-Russian propaganda aims in stressing civilizational, cultural, intellectual backwardness of Russia compared "advanced and enlightened" West.

The purpose of this propaganda "strangulation" of Russia is instituting "regime change" and bring to power the second generation of compradors. As well as further dismemberment of its territory. Some forms on internal conflict are supported as a part of destabilization strategy. With the ultimate goal of second partitioning of Russia and the emergence of new quasi-independent States.

To understand the coverage of Russia in western MSM one needs to understand the mechanisms of war propaganda. The latter is guided by the following postulates well known since the WWI (Falsehood in War-Time):

1. We do not want war.
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
9. Our cause is sacred. "The ages-old 'God bless America' is playing once more."
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.

This topic is discussed in more details elsewhere, but a good starting point is the book Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965/1973) by French philosopher, theologian, legal scholar, and sociologist Jacques Ellul. This book was one the first attempt to study propaganda from a sociological approach as well as a psychological one. It presents a taxonomy for propaganda methods, including such paired opposites as

During World War II, Ellul was a leader in the French resistance after being discharged as a professor from French universities by the Vichy regime. After France's liberation, he became professor at the University of Bordeaux. He authored 58 books and numerous articles over his lifetime, the dominant theme of which has been the threat to human freedom created by modern technology. In 1947, Ellul was appointed chair of law and social history at the Institut d'études politiques that increased his reputation as a social and political philosopher which led to the publication of his works in the United States. Here is an abridged Wikipedia summary:

Background of propaganda attacks against Russia

...."The Institute for Propaganda Analysis, inspired by Harold Lasswell" defined propaganda as "the expression of opinions or actions carried out deliberately by individuals or groups with a view to influencing the opinions or actions of other individuals or groups for predetermined ends and through psychological manipulations".[3]

This definition seemed more accurate and was supported by others such as Goebbels, a German propagandist, who stated, "We do not talk to say something, but to obtain a certain effect."[ Similarly F.C. Bartlett holds an accurate interpretation of the goal of propaganda as not merely as an instrument to increase political understanding of events, but to obtain results through action. Ellul supports the idea that propaganda is made primarily because of a will to action for the purpose of effectively arming policy made by the State. Leonard Doob, an American specialist, defined propaganda in 1948 as "the attempt to affect the personalities and to control the behavior of individuals towards desired ends."

Unending definitions show the uncertainty among specialists and the inability of definitions to encompass all that is propaganda. Just because the term propaganda cannot be defined with any degree of precision does not mean that attempts to define it should be abandoned.

"Very frequently propaganda is describe as a manipulation for the purpose of changing idea or opinions of making individuals 'believe' some idea or fact, and finally of making them adhere to some doctrine—all matters of the mind. It tries to convince, to bring about a decision, to create a firm adherence to some truth. This is a completely wrong line of thinking: to view propaganda as still being what it was in 1850 is to cling to an obsolete concept of man and of the means to influence him; it is to condemn oneself to understand nothing about propaganda. The aim of modern propaganda is no longer to modify ideas, but to provoke action. It is no longer to change adherence to a doctrine, but to make the individual cling irrationally to a process of action. It is no longer to transform an opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief."

...He holds that the main concern of propaganda through psychological influence is sparking action to a desired response by developing learned attitudes. ....

Summary of chapters

Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes is divided into five substantive chapters discussing Ellul’s analysis. Introduction

Regardless of the State, propaganda should be viewed as situated at the center of the growing powers of governmental and administrative techniques.

"Differences in political regimes matter little; differences in social levels are more important; and most important is national self-awareness. Propaganda is a good deal less the political weapon of a regime (it is that also) than the effect of a technological society that embraces the entire man and tends to be a completely integrated society. Propaganda stops man from feeling that things in society are oppressive and persuades him to submit with good grace."[7] Chapter One: Characteristics of Propaganda

Modern propaganda is a technique that requires an analysis of both environment and individual to be subjected to propaganda therefore it is based on scientific analyses of psychology and sociology. Sufficient understanding of these two areas creates the most effective propaganda and without the scientific research of modern psychology and sociology there would be no propaganda. "Step by step the propagandist builds the techniques on the basis of his knowledge of man, his tendencies, his desires, his needs, his psychic mechanisms, his conditioning, and as much on social psychology as on depth psychology."[8] 1.Part One: External Characteristics

Propaganda is first and foremost concerned with influencing an individual psychologically by creating convictions and compliance through imperceptible techniques that are effective only by continuous repetition. Propaganda employs encirclement on the individual by trying to surround man by all possible routes, in the realm of feelings as well as ideas, by playing on his will or his needs through his conscious and his unconscious, and by assailing him in both his private and his public life.[9] The propagandist also acknowledges the most favorable moment to influence man is when an individual is caught up in the masses. Propaganda must be total in that utilizes all forms of media to draw the individual into the net of propaganda. Propaganda is designed to be continuous within the individual's life by filling the citizen’s entire day. It is based on slow constant impregnation that functions over a long period of time exceeding the individual’s capacities for attention or adaptation and thus his capabilities of resistance. In order for propaganda to maintain encirclement, it must be exerted by an organization capable of influencing psychological channels that reach the individual. Psychological and physical actions are inseparable elements to propaganda, however, if no influence is exerted by an organization than there can be no propaganda because it cannot operate in a vacuum. The necessity for a physical organization limits propaganda enterprises and in order to be effective propaganda must work inside a group, principally inside a nation. Propaganda must first organize the masses in order to propagandize within the masses. In general, propaganda is a set of methods employed by an organized group that wants to bring about the active or passive participation in its actions of a mass of individuals, psychologically unified through psychological manipulations and incorporated into an organization.[10] Propaganda should no longer be viewed in terms of an orthodoxy but rather modern propaganda should be seen as an orthopraxy because it aims for participation not adherence. Participation can be active or passive: active if propaganda has been able to mobilize the individual for action; passive if the individual does not act directly but psychologically supports that action. 2. Part Two: Internal Characteristics The second major element that a propagandist must understand is the environment in which the individual operates, mainly the foci of interest of the public. An understanding of the conventional patterns and stereotypes that pre-exist in a milieu provide the propagandist with material from which to build off. Propaganda is not able to create something out of nothing and is confined to developing pre-existing material thereby expressing the fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. These currents include accepted structures such as collective sociological presuppositions and myths that are fundamental to society.

"The Four Great Collective Sociological Presuppositions in the Modern World: 1.That an individual's aim in life is happiness. 2.That man is naturally good. 3.That history develops in endless progress. 4.That everything is matter.

The Collective Myths: 1.of Work 2.of Happiness 3.of the Nation 4.of Youth 5.of the Hero"[11]

These currents reinforce socieand hold man’s mjor convictions and propa ganda must voice this reality. Propaganda is concerned with timeliness since an individual is only moved to action if he is pushed towards a timely one by propaganda. Once it becomes history it inevitably becomes neutral and indifferent to the individual who is sensitive primarily to current news. "Operational words" are used to penetrate an individual’s indifference. However they lose their value as immediacy passes as old facts are replaced by new ones. The "current events man" is carried along the current of news and caught in the events of today, losing interest in the events of yesterday. The indifferent are apolitical and without opinion, therefore they are outside of propaganda’s grasp. Incidentally, there are also the undecided, people whose opinions are vague, who form the majority of citizens within the collective. These citizens are the most susceptible to control of public opinion that is dictated by propaganda. Lastly, this part discusses propaganda and truth or the ability of propaganda to relay something as true based not on the accuracy of facts but of reality. Propaganda veils the truth with falsehoods even though lying is generally to be avoided. 3. Part Three: Categories of Propaganda Presented in this chapter is a sophisticated taxonomy for propaganda, including such paired opposites as political-sociological, vertical-horizontal, rational-irrational, and agitation-integration.

Political vs. Sociological Propaganda:

Political Propaganda involves techniques of influence employed by a government, a party, an administration, or a pressure group with the intention of changing the behavior of the public. The themes and objectives of this type of propaganda are of a political nature. The goals are determined by the government, party, administration, or pressure group. The methods of political propaganda are calculated in a precise manner and its main criteria is to disseminate an ideology for the very purpose of making various political acts acceptable to the people.[12] There are two forms of political propaganda, tactical and strategic. Tactical political propaganda seeks to obtain immediate results within a given framework. Strategic political propaganda is not concerned with speed but rather it establishes the general line, the array of arguments, and the staging of campaigns.

Political propaganda reversed is sociological propaganda because the ideology is penetrated by means of its sociological context. Propaganda, as it is traditionally known, implies an attempt to spread an ideology through the mass media of communication in order to lead the public to a desired action. In sociological propaganda even media that are not controllable such as individual art work, films, and writing reflect the ideology allowing for an accelerated penetration of the masses and the individuals within them.[13]

Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society seeks to integrate the maximum number of individuals into itself by unifying its members’ behavior according to a pattern, spreading its style of life abroad, and thus imposing itself on other groups. Essentially sociological propaganda aims to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life."[14] This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual’s way of life and represents this way of life as best. Sociological propaganda creates an indisputable criterion for the individual to make judgments of good and evil according to the order of the individual’s way of life. Sociological propaganda does not result in action, however, it can prepare the ground for direct propaganda. From then on, the individual in the clutches of such sociological propaganda believes that those who live this way are on the side of the angels, and those who don’t are bad.[15]

Vertical vs. Horizontal Propaganda: Vertical propaganda is similar to direct propaganda that aims at the individual in the mass and is renewed constantly. However, in horizontal propaganda there is no top down structure but rather it springs up from within the group. It involves meticulous encirclement that traps an individual involuntarily in dialectic. The individual is led unfailingly to its adherence by talking about the dialectic until the individual discovers the answer that was set up unconsciously for him to find. Schools are a primary mechanism for integrating the individual into the way of life.

Rational vs. Irrational Propaganda:

Propaganda is addressed to the individual on the foundation of feelings and passions which are irrational, however, the content of propaganda does address reason and experience when it presents information and furnishes facts making it rational as well. It is important for propaganda to be rational because modern man needs relation to facts. Modern man wants to be convinced that by acting in a certain way he is obeying reason in order to have self justification. The challenge is creating an irrational response on the basis of rational and factual elements by leaving an impression on an individual that remains long after the facts have faded away. Individuals are not compelled to act based facts but rather on emotional pressure, the vision of the future, or the myth.

Agitation vs. Integration propaganda: Propaganda of agitation seeks to mobilize people in order to destroy the established order and/or government. It seeks rebellion by provoking a crisis or unleashing explosive movements during one. It momentarily subverts the habits, customs, and beliefs that were obstacles to making great leap forward by addressing the internal elements in each of us. It eradicates the individual out of his normal framework and then proceeds to plunge him into enthusiasm by suggesting extraordinary goals which nevertheless seem to him completely within reach. However, this enthusiasm can only last a short duration so the objective must be achieved quickly followed by a period of rest. People cannot be kept at in a "state of perpetual enthusiasm and insecurity". Rebellion is incited by the propagandist who knows that hate is one of the most profitable resources when drawn out of an individual. Agitation propaganda is usually thought of as propaganda in that it aims to influence people to act. Integration propaganda, on the other hand, is a more subtle form that aims to reinforce cultural norms. This is sociological in nature because it provides stability to society by supporting the "way of life" and the myths within a culture. It is propaganda of conformity that requires participation in the social body. This type of propaganda is more prominent and permanent, yet it is not as recognized as agitation propaganda because it is more permanent manner. Basically, agitation propaganda provides the motive force when needed and when not needed integration propaganda provides the context and backdrop. Chapter Two: The Condition for the Existence of Propaganda

The nature of propaganda has changed over the course of time and yet it is evident that propaganda cannot exist without a milieu. The emergence of propaganda is interconnected with technology and scientific discoveries yet it can only appear and grow under certain conditions. Several events have occurred that have furthered propaganda by increasing its ability in depth and discovering new methods. Modern propaganda could not exist without the mass media or modern means of transportation which permit crowds of diverse individuals from all over to assemble easily and frequently. 1.Part One: The Sociological Conditions

Society must contain elements of both an individualist society and a mass society. Propaganda aims to capture both the mass and the individual at the same time through this dual type of society. A mass society is based on individuals that are reduced to ciphers based on what they have in common to others. First conditions for growth and development of modern propaganda: it emerged in Western Europe in the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth precisely because that was when society was becoming increasingly individualistic and its organic structures were breaking down. Individuals without natural organic local groups are defenseless and more likely to be caught up in a social current. On the other hand, a mass society has considerable population density in which local structures and organizations are weak, currents of opinion are strongly felt creating a certain psychological unity, and individuals are organized into large and influential collectives. Mass society is characterized by uniformity and material life despite differences of environment. Once a mass society is created, public opinion will begin to play a role to help individuals form their own personal opinion. Public opinion can only express itself through channels which are provided by the mass media of communication without which there could be no propaganda. Yet it is important that mass media be subject to centralized control in order to successfully form public opinion without any opposition. Again Ellul mentions that the individual must be caught in wide net of media through all channels. Once opinion has been formed, propaganda is able to reinforce it and transform opinion into action. 2. Part Two: Objective Conditions of Total Propaganda Propaganda thrives off of what individuals have in common with others to develop patterns of behavior and modify cultural opinions. Total propaganda recognizes that within a nation individuals should all have in common a standard of living, a culture, and an ideology. The need of an average standard of living is that people must be able to afford to buy a radio, TV, a newspaper, or go to the movies. It is mostly concerned with the densest mass which is made up of average men and not the very rich or very poor. Poor cannot do this therefore they cannot be subjected to integration propaganda because the immediate concerns of daily life absorb all their capacities and efforts. The poor can only be subjected to agitation propaganda, excited to the point of theft and murder. But they cannot be trained by propaganda, kept in hand, channeled, and oriented. More advanced propaganda can influence only a man who is not completely haunted by poverty, a man who can view things from a certain distance and be reasonably unconcerned about his daily bread, who therefore can take an interest in more general matters.

"For propaganda to be effective the propagandee must have a certain store of ideas and a number of conditioned reflexes that can only be acquired through peace of mind springing from relative security. The establishment of a mode of common life- all this leads to the creation of a type of normal man conveniently leads all men toward that norm via a multitude of paths. Propaganda’s intent is to integrate people into the normal pattern prevailing in society bring about conformance to way of life. To sum up: The creation of normalcy in our society can take one of two shapes. It can be the result of scientific, psycho-sociological analysis based on statistics- that is the American type of normalcy. It can be ideological and doctrinaire- that is the Communist type. But the results are identical: such normalcy necessarily gives rise to propaganda that can reduce the individual to the pattern most useful to society."[16]

"Information" Is an essential element of propaganda, which must "have reference to political or economic reality" to be credible. In fact, no propaganda can work until the moment when a set of facts has become a problem in the eyes of those who constitute public opinion." Education permits the dissemination of propaganda in that it enables people to consume information. Information is indistinguishable from propaganda in that information is an essential element of propaganda because for propaganda to succeed it must have reference to political or economic reality. Propaganda grafts itself onto an already existing reality through "informed opinion". Where no informed opinion with regard to political or economic affairs propaganda cannot exist making it an indispensable aspect. Propaganda means nothing without preliminary information that provides the basis for propaganda, gives propaganda the means to operate, and generates the problems that propaganda exploits by pretending to offer solutions. It is through information that the individual is placed in a social context and learns to understand the reality of his own situation. Information allows us to evaluate our situation feel our own personal problems are a general social problem thus enabling propaganda to entice us into social and political action. Information is most effective when it is objective and broad because it creates a general picture. With information quantity is better than quality, the more political or economic facts believed to be mastered by an individual, the more sensitive their judgment is to propaganda. In fact, only in and through propaganda do the masses have access to political economy, politics, art, or literature. The more stereotypes in a culture, the easier it is to form public opinion, and the more an individual participates in that culture, the more susceptible he becomes to the manipulation of these symbols. Chapter Three: The Necessity for Propaganda

All propaganda is based on a need, a dual need, first there is the need of state to make it and second there is the need of propagandee to receive it. These two needs compliment and correspond to each other in the development of propaganda. Propaganda is an expression of modern society as a whole. 1.Part One: The State's Necessity

The State has the need to make propaganda to integrate citizens into its society, to disseminate information, and to increase participation and involvement of members of society. Sometimes the people want to take part in government affairs. However, the official leaders cannot disconnect themselves from what the people want. Being that the people in charge cant escape the people , bait must be presented to them. This acts as a disguise that must be there to hide what is really happening behind the scenes in the government . Citizens are aware that political decisions affect everybody and governments cannot govern without the support, presence, pressure, or knowledge of the people. Yet the people are incapable of making long term policy so opinion must be created to follow the government because the government cannot be led by opinion. All of this describes the "Mass-Government" relationship characterized by people demanding what has already been decided, in order to appear as though the government is actually caring about what the people need. The next part that the book discuss is psychological warfare. It is believed to be a peace policy that is used between nations as a form of aggression. This type of propaganda changes the public opinion of an opposing regime so that it can be in favor of there regime. 2. Part Two: The Individual’s Necessity The individual needs propaganda to gain satisfaction as a member of society. Individuals want to be informed and to participate in the decisions of the state. Propaganda is the outlet through which individuals obtain the satisfaction of having contributed to the state. It is a necessary instrument of a state or institution to spread information to members of the group or society. But for propaganda to succeed it must respond to a need on the individual’s part as well. The individual is by no means just an innocent victim of propaganda when in fact he provokes the psychological action of propaganda by not merely lending himself to it, but also from deriving satisfaction from it. It is strictly a sociological phenomenon, in the sense that it has its roots and reasons in the need of the group that will sustain it. The great role performed by propaganda is in its ability to give the people the involvement they crave or the illusion of it in order for the masses to be artificially satisfied. Individuals are faced with decisions which require a range of information that the individual does not and cannot have without propaganda. Thus, the individual is unable to accept that he cannot form opinion on his own and is caught between his desire and his inability. People are willing and likely to accept propaganda that allows them to artificially satisfy their desire to have an opinion by hiding their incompetence. The individual does not mind being given preconceived positions because otherwise he would realize that he does not understand the problems of the modern world. The individual would then realize that he "depends on situations of which he has no control" and have to face this reality. The individual cannot live in the state of this harsh reality so he derives satisfaction from the veil created by the ideology and the sense of values it provides. The individual need psychological and ideological reasons why he needs to be where he is and propaganda is the mechanism that the state uses for this very purpose. Chapter Four: Psychological Effects of Propaganda

The psychological effects of propaganda on an individual cannot be ignored. The individual undergoes profound changes while being propagandized mainly the diminishment of personal activity. "Propaganda furnishes objectives, organizes the traits of an individual into a system, and freezes them into a mold by standardizing current ideas, hardening the prevailing stereotypes, and furnishing thought patterns in all areas."[17] The individual is traumatized by the overwhelming force of propaganda that intensifies the prejudices and beliefs until eventually the individual has no control over his own impulses. It seeks to push the individual into the mass until his will fades entirely into that of the mass. Individuality is sacrificed for the greater cause of the nation by uniting him and blending him with others. Critical and personal judgment are subdued and replaced with ready-made attitudes and opinions. Discernment is made nearly impossible for the individual whose ability to judge is destroyed making him dependent on propaganda’s ready-made opinions from then on. The individual can no longer exercise his own judgment and becomes honed into what propaganda tells him. He no longer expresses himself but his group once he accepts public opinion as his own. The artificial, impersonal public opinion created by propaganda is absorbed by the individual and he becomes filled with its conviction. When he is fully integrated in the social group and can no longer distinguish between himself and society than he has reached total alienation. In this process, the individual’s personal inclinations lead to participation in the collective where he loses control and submits to external impulses. The individual is suppressed psychologically so that he can continue to live under the conditions in which society places him by providing an artificial and unreal reality that is the result of powerful propaganda. Chapter Five: The Socio-Political Effects

"In the nineteenth century, the problem of opinion formation through the expression of thought was essentially a problem of contacts between the State and the individual, and a problem of acquisition of freedom. But today, thanks to the mass media, the individual finds himself outside the battle that is now between the State and powerful groups. The freedom to express ideas is no longer at stake in this debate but it has been replaced by mastery and domination by the State or some powerful groups over the formation of opinion. The individual is not in the battle because he is the stake and the battle will determine what voice he will be permitted to hear and which words will have the power to obsess him."[18] 1.Part One: Propaganda and Ideology

An ideology provides society certain beliefs and no social group can exist without the foundation of these beliefs. Propaganda is the means by which an ideology can expand without force. An ideology is either fortified within a group or expanded beyond the borders of a group through propaganda. However, propaganda is less and less concerned with spreading the ideology nowadays as it is with becoming autonomous. The ideology is no longer the decisive factor of propaganda that must be obeyed by the propagandist. The propagandist cannot be constrained by the ideology of his State but must operate in service of the state and be able to manipulate the ideology as if it were an object. The ideology merely provides the content for the propagandist to build off since he is limited to what already is present within the group, nation, or society. The fundamental ideologies are nationalism, socialism, communism, and democracy. 2. Part Two: Effects on the Structure of Public Opinion Public opinion is an instrument of propaganda that is disseminated through the mass media of communication to the masses. While most people view the formation of public opinion as being shaped itself by interaction between different viewpoints on controversial questions, this is incorrect because public opinion is delineated by propaganda as a "truth" which is either believed or not believed. Public opinion ceases to be controversial and can no longer form itself except through channels of mass media. No opinion can be held until it is communicated to the masses through mass media. Propaganda uses public opinion to externalize inner opinions of the organization to the masses that eventually produces conformity.[19] 3. Part Three: Propaganda and Grouping In regards to propaganda, there are two groups: the groups that make propaganda and the groups that are subjected to propaganda. In Ellul's view, there is a "double foray on the part of propaganda that proves the excellence of one group and the evilness of another at the same time to create partitioning". This creates isolation between groups by promoting allegiance to the group one is in and suppressing conversation between groups. The more they listen to their propaganda the stronger their beliefs and the greater their justifications for their actions. Partitioning takes place on many different levels including class, religious, political, national and blocs of nations. A superior group is able to affect the lesser groups, however, groups that have an equal amount of influence will only separate further from one another in that a members allegiance to a group develops closed mindedness. Well-organized propaganda is able to work with different elements that exist within a nation such as religion, political parties, and labor groups. 4. Part Four: Propaganda and Democracy Since democracy depends on public opinion, it is clear that propaganda must be involved. The relationship between democracy and propaganda evidently presents a conflict between the principles of democracy and the processes of propaganda. The individual is viewed as the cornerstone of a democracy which is a form of government that is made "for the people and by the people". However, as discussed in early chapters Ellul described the masses are incapable of making long-term foreign policy and the government needs to make these decisions in a timely manner. This is where propaganda comes into play and projects an artificial reality to the masses to satisfy their need to participate in government while the decisions are really made behind the scenes. This was also describe earlier as the "mass-government" relationship. Democratic regimes develop propaganda in line with its myths and prejudices. Propaganda stresses the superiority of a democratic society while intensifying the prejudices between democratic and oppressive.

Major themes

Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes builds on prior notions of propaganda to demonstrate that while propaganda is psychological in nature it is just as much sociological in nature as well. Propaganda is not just embedded into the individual's psyche but also the cultural psyche. Propaganda works off the inner characteristics of both the individual and the society that the individual belongs. This thorough analysis made by Ellul illustrates that to downplay the importance of the sociological influences of propaganda to psychological ones is a dreadful error. Propaganda is more threatening when it begins to be recognized as sociological as well psychological in nature. Below are two major themes the first stressing the psychological aims of propaganda the second the sociological aims.

"The Lonely Crowd"

The term "lonely crowd" is used by Ellul to distinguish the two inseparable elements of propaganda, the individual and the masses, which must be addressed by the propagandist at the same time. As an isolated unit, the individual is of no interest to the propagandist unless he is reduced to an average. It is crucial that the individual is never considered as an individual but always in terms of what he has in common with others. The individual is included and integrated into the mass because the propagandist profits from the process of diffusion of emotions through the mass, and at the same time, from the pressures felt by an individual when in a group.[20]

In this setting, "the individual caught up in the mass", the individual's reactions are easier to provoke and psychic defenses are weakened. The individual must always be considered as a participant in a mass and similarly the mass must only be viewed as a crowd composed of individuals. When propaganda is addressed to the crowd, it must touch each individual in that crowd which is in fact nothing but assembled individuals. Conversely, the individual should not be viewed as alone as a listener, watcher, or reader because the individual is nevertheless part of an invisible crowd though he is actually alone. The most favorable moment to influence an individual is when he is alone in the mass, the structure of the mass is extremely profitable to the propagandist concerned with being effective.

Fundamental currents in society

"One cannot make just any propaganda any place for anybody."[21] While propaganda is focused on reaching the individual, it cannot only rely on building off what already exists in the individual. Propaganda must also attach itself to the pre-existing fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. The propagandist must know the current tendencies and the stereotypes among the public he is trying to reach. These are indicated by principal symbols of the culture the propagandist wishes to attack since these symbols express the attitudes of a particular culture. Individuals are part of a culture and are therefore psychologically shaped by that culture. The main task of propaganda is to utilize the conditioned symbols as transmitters of that culture to serve its purpose. Propaganda must be a reflection of the fundamental structures of society to be successful and not contradictory of existing opinions. A skillful propagandist does not try to change mass opinion or go against an accepted structure. Only a bad propagandist would make a direct attack on an established, reasoned, durable opinion, accepted cliché, or fixed pattern. "Each individual harbors a large number of stereotypes and established tendencies; from this arsenal the propagandist must select those easiest to mobilize, those which will give the greatest strength to the action he wants to precipitate."[22]

While propaganda cannot create something out of nothing, it does have the ability to build on the foundation already established. More importantly even though it does not create new material and is confined to what already exists, it is not necessarily powerless. "It can attack from the rear, war own slowly, provide new centers of interest, which cause the neglect of previously acquired positions; it can divert a prejudice; or it can elicit an action contrary to an opinion held by the individual without his being clearly aware of it."[23]

Propaganda can gradually undermine prejudices and images in order to weaken them. These fundamental currents in society create the perfect atmosphere for sociological propaganda which influences the individual through his customs and unconscious habits. Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society tries to unify its members’ behavior according to a pattern. Essentially sociological propaganda is to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life."[24] This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual’s way of life and represents this way of life as best.

See also [edit] Brainwashing Conformity Ideology Indoctrination Media manipulation Mind control Propaganda Psychological manipulation Psychological warfare Social Influence Socially constructed reality

British propaganda is especially sophisticated and nasty. See In Foreign Events Coverage The Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment

Anatomy of US sanctions against Russia

The USA administration, and especially neocons, entrenched in State Department, organized putsch in Kiev with the help of their European satellites. When the civil war started as the result of the putsch the USA introduced sanctions against Russia. See "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place

Tremendous pressure exerted on Russia by the West, largely intended to show the subjects of world politics undesirability of implementing an independent foreign policy. Washington and its satellites in Europe through sanctions are trying to demonstrate their ability to isolate the "offending" countries from the global economy and technical progress by controlling supplies of high technology equipment. However, analysis of the accusations against Russia suggests that both the USA Europe are dominated by neoliberals/neocons who themselves are divorced from the realities of the current processes and looks at the world through the eyes of the early 90th then neoliberalism enjoyed its triumphal march in Eastern Europe and xUSSR space.

After 2008  neoliberalism entered so called zombie stage. It is still very powerful and very dangerous, but ideology of neoliberalism, like ideology of Marxism before is now looks like  perishable goods with expired date of consumption. In no way it is not attractive anymore. Events like enforcing Greece debt slavery by Germany and France only increase the reaction of rejection. 

And that's despite all economic power the USA definitely possesses and success in implementing economic sanctions which drove the Russia GDP growth into negative rages presents huge challenge for the USA. One of the best option the USA elites are pushing is the limited war in Europe that can weaken both EU and Russia. So in a way the putsch in Kiev was anti-EU measure, as Victoria Nuland famous quote suggests.

Sanctions, as damaging  as they are, suggest that the empire lost diplomatic skills. And there is no question that  economic weapons are as close to the act of war as you can get.  See Cold War II. As Patrick Buchanan notes (ecnomicpolicyjournal.com, April 28, 2014):

"Mr. Obama is focused on isolating President Vladimir V. Putin's Russia by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world ... and effectively making it a pariah state."

So wrote Peter Baker in Sunday's New York Times. Yet if history is any guide, this "pariah policy," even if adopted, will not long endure.

Three years after Khrushchev sent tanks into Hungary, he
was touring the USA and celebrating with Ike the new "Spirit of Camp David."

Half a year after Khrushchev moved missiles into Cuba, JFK was talking detente is his famous speech at American University.

Three weeks after Moscow incited the Arabs in the Six-Day War, Lyndon Johnson was meeting with Premier Alexei Kosygin in New Jersey, where the "Spirit of Glassboro," was born.

So it went through the Cold War. Post-crises, U.S. presidents reached out to Soviet leaders. For they saw Russia as too large and too powerful to be isolated and ostracized like North Korea.

The sustained expansion of economic sanctions, especially  against the oil and gas sector and specific companies as well as limited access to credit resources indicate the seriousness of the Western establishment to deprive Russia of the economic growth and the ability to protect its own economic interests.

The neocons strategy of encirclement and isolation of Russia

This "Anaconda strategy" of encircling Russia got a significant boost after the victory of far right in EuroMaidan. This event has become for a great geopolitical victory for the USA and humbling defeat for Russia. Russia was in bad shape to prevent it, as the logic of development of new state immanently produces anti-Russian sentiments as the mean to create their own identity. But still weakness of Russia in Ukraine was real and signify a serious problems ahead. Also the USA is way to strong to go into open confontation with the US neocons, which dominates the US foreign policy.

The reaction of Russia on far right victory at EuroMaydan gave rise in in the US establishment, to even more active implementation of the strategy of confrontation, and propaganda campaign against "the Russian threat".  Like Bolsheviks before them (and neocons are just turncoat Trotskyites, so there are a lot of common between two), they hate any obstacle on the path to creation of global neoliberal empire led by the USA. This strategy involves increasing the military presence on the European continent and military power of NATO. Much tougher stance toward Russian projects in Western and Eastern Europe and in attacks on the level of international organizations. Along with the anti-Russian operations in Europe, the US and its satellites are active in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. A good example is the recent attempt to organize a Maidan in Armenia.


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[Jun 19, 2018] How The Last Superpower Was Unchained by Tom Engelhardt

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... However, the truth – at least in retrospect – was that, in the Cold War years, the Soviets were actually doing Washington a strange, if unnoted, favor. Across much of the Eurasian continent, and other places from Cuba to the Middle East, Soviet power and the never-ending contest for influence and dominance that went with it always reminded American leaders that their own power had its limits. ..."
"... This, as the 21st century should have (but hasn't) made clear, was no small thing. It still seemed obvious then that American power could not be total. There were things it could not do, places it could not control, dreams its leaders simply couldn't have. Though no one ever thought of it that way, from 1945 to 1991, the United States, like the Soviet Union, was, after a fashion, "contained." ..."
"... In those years, the Russians were, in essence, saving Washington from itself. Soviet power was a tangible reminder to American political and military leaders that certain areas of the planet remained no-go zones (except in what, in those years, were called "the shadows"). ..."
"... The Soviet Union, in short, rescued Washington from both the fantasy and the hell of going it alone, even if Americans only grasped that reality at the most subliminal of levels. ..."
Jun 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Engelhardt via The Asia Times,

Think of it as the all-American version of the human comedy: a great power that eternally knows what the world needs and offers copious advice with a tone deafness that would be humorous, if it weren't so grim.

If you look, you can find examples of this just about anywhere. Here, for instance, is a passage in The New York Times from a piece on the topsy-turvy Trumpian negotiations that preceded the Singapore summit. "The Americans and South Koreans," wrote reporter Motoko Rich, "want to persuade the North that continuing to funnel most of the country's resources into its military and nuclear programs shortchanges its citizens' economic well-being. But the North does not see the two as mutually exclusive."

Think about that for a moment. The US has, of course, embarked on a trillion-dollar-plus upgrade of its already massive nuclear arsenal (and that's before the cost overruns even begin). Its Congress and president have for years proved eager to sink at least a trillion dollars annually into the budget of the national security state (a figure that's still rising and outpaces by far that of any other power on the planet), while its own infrastructure sags and crumbles. And yet it finds the impoverished North Koreans puzzling when they, too, follow such an extreme path.

"Clueless" is not a word Americans ordinarily apply to themselves as a country, a people, or a government. Yet how applicable it is.

And when it comes to cluelessness, there's another, far stranger path the United States has been following since at least the George W Bush moment that couldn't be more consequential and yet somehow remains the least noticed of all. On this subject, Americans don't have a clue. In fact, if you could put the United States on a psychiatrist's couch, this might be the place to start.

America contained

In a way, it's the oldest story on Earth: the rise and fall of empires. And note the plural there. It was never – not until recently at least – "empire," always "empires." Since the 15th century, when the fleets of the first European imperial powers broke into the larger world with subjugation in mind, it was invariably a contest of many. There were at least three or sometimes significantly more imperial powers rising and contesting for dominance or slowly falling from it.

This was, by definition, the history of great powers on this planet: the challenging rise, the challenged decline. Think of it for so many centuries as the essential narrative of history, the story of how it all happened until at least 1945, when just two "superpowers," the United States and the Soviet Union, found themselves facing off on a global scale.

Of the two, the US was always stronger, more powerful, and far wealthier. It theoretically feared the Russian Bear, the Evil Empire , which it worked assiduously to " contain " behind that famed Iron Curtain and whose adherents in the US, always modest in number, were subjected to a mania of fear and suppression.

However, the truth – at least in retrospect – was that, in the Cold War years, the Soviets were actually doing Washington a strange, if unnoted, favor. Across much of the Eurasian continent, and other places from Cuba to the Middle East, Soviet power and the never-ending contest for influence and dominance that went with it always reminded American leaders that their own power had its limits.

This, as the 21st century should have (but hasn't) made clear, was no small thing. It still seemed obvious then that American power could not be total. There were things it could not do, places it could not control, dreams its leaders simply couldn't have. Though no one ever thought of it that way, from 1945 to 1991, the United States, like the Soviet Union, was, after a fashion, "contained."

In those years, the Russians were, in essence, saving Washington from itself. Soviet power was a tangible reminder to American political and military leaders that certain areas of the planet remained no-go zones (except in what, in those years, were called "the shadows").

The Soviet Union, in short, rescued Washington from both the fantasy and the hell of going it alone, even if Americans only grasped that reality at the most subliminal of levels.

That was the situation until December 1991 when, at the end of a centuries-long imperial race for power (and the never-ending arms race that went with it), there was just one gigantic power left standing on Planet Earth. It told you something about the thinking then that, when the Soviet Union imploded, the initial reaction in Washington wasn't triumphalism (though that came soon enough) but utter shock, a disbelieving sense that something no one had expected, predicted, or even imagined had nonetheless happened. To that very moment, Washington had continued to plan for a two-superpower world until the end of time.

America uncontained

Soon enough, though, the Washington elite came to see what happened as, in the phrase of the moment, " the end of history ." Given the wreckage of the Soviet Union, it seemed that an ultimate victory had been won by the very country its politicians would soon come to call "the last superpower," the " indispensable " nation, the " exceptional " state, a land great beyond imagining (until, at least, Donald Trump hit the campaign trail with a slogan that implied greatness wasn't all-American any more).

In reality, there were a variety of paths open to the "last superpower" at that moment. There was even, however briefly, talk of a "peace dividend" – of the possibility that, in a world without contesting superpowers, taxpayer dollars might once again be invested not in the sinews of war-making but of peacemaking (particularly in infrastructure and the well-being of the country's citizens).

Such talk, however, lasted only a year or two and always in a minor key before being relegated to Washington's attic. Instead, with only a few rickety "rogue" states left to deal with – like gulp North Korea, Iraq and Iran – that money never actually headed home, and neither did the thinking that went with it.

Consider it the good fortune of the geopolitical dreamers soon to take the reins in Washington that the first Gulf War of 1990-1991, which ended less than a year before the Soviet Union collapsed, prepared the way for quite a different style of thinking. That instant victory led to a new kind of militarized dreaming in which a highly tech-savvy military, like the one that had driven Iraqi autocrat Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait in such short order, would be capable of doing anything on a planet without serious opposition.

And yet, from the beginning, there were signs suggesting a far grimmer future. To take but one infamous example, Americans still remember the Black Hawk Down moment of 1993 when the world's greatest military fell victim to a Somali warlord and local militias and found itself incapable of imposing its will on one of the least impressive not-quite-states on the planet (a place still frustrating that military a quarter-century later).

In that post-1991 world, however, few in Washington even considered that the 20th century had loosed another phenomenon on the world, that of insurgent national liberation movements, generally leftist rebellions, across what had been the colonial world – the very world of competing empires now being tucked into the history books – and it hadn't gone away. In the 21st century, such insurgent movements, now largely religious, or terror-based, or both, would turn out to offer a grim new version of containment to the last superpower.

Unchaining the indispensable nation

On September 11, 2001, a canny global jihadist by the name of Osama bin Laden sent his air force (four hijacked US passenger jets) and his precision weaponry (19 suicidal, mainly Saudi followers) against three iconic targets in the American pantheon: the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and undoubtedly the Capitol or the White House (neither of which was hit because one of those jets crashed in a field in Pennsylvania). In doing so, in a sense bin Laden not only loosed a literal hell on Earth, but unchained the last superpower.

William Shakespeare would have had a word for what followed: hubris. But give the top officials of the Bush administration (and the neocons who supported them) a break. There had never been a moment like it: a moment of one. A single great power left alone, triumphant, on planet Earth. Just one superpower – wealthy beyond compare, its increasingly high-tech military unmatched, its only true rival in a state of collapse – had now been challenged by a small jihadist group.

To president Bush, vice-president Dick Cheney, and the rest of their crew, it seemed like nothing short of a heaven-sent opportunity. As they came out of the shock of 9/11, of that " Pearl Harbor of the 21st century ," it was as if they had found a magic formula in the ruins of those iconic buildings for the ultimate control of the planet. As secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld would instruct an aide at the Pentagon that day, "Go massive. Sweep it up. Things related and not."

Within days, things related and not were indeed being swept up. The country was almost instantly said to be "at war," and soon that conflict even had a name, the Global War on Terror. Nor was that war to be against just al-Qaeda, or even one country, an Afghanistan largely ruled by the Taliban. More than 60 countries said to have "terror networks" of various sorts found themselves almost instantly in the administration's potential gunsights. And that was just to be the beginning of it all.

In October 2001, the invasion of Afghanistan was launched. In the spring of 2003, the invasion of Iraq followed, and those were only the initial steps in what was increasingly envisioned as the imposition of a Pax Americana on the Greater Middle East.

There could be no doubt, for instance, that Iran and Syria, too, would soon go the way of Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush's top officials had been nursing just such dreams since, in 1997, many of them formed a think-tank (the first ever to enter the White House) called the Project for the New American Century and began to write out what were then the fantasies of figures nowhere near power. By 2003, they were power itself and their dreams, if anything, had grown even more grandiose.

In addition to imagining a political Pax Republicana in the United States, they truly dreamed of a future planetary Pax Americana in which, for the first time in history, a single power would, in some fashion, control the whole works, the Earth itself.

And this wasn't to be a passing matter either. The Bush administration's "unilateralism" rested on a conviction that it could actually create a future in which no country or even bloc of countries would ever come close to matching or challenging US military power. The administration's National Security Strategy of 2002 put the matter bluntly: The US was to "build and maintain" a military, in the phrase of the moment, " beyond challenge ."

They had little doubt that, in the face of the most technologically advanced, bulked-up, destructive force on Earth, hostile states would be "shocked and awed" by a simple demonstration of its power, while friendly ones would have little choice but to come to heel as well. After all, as Bush said at a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in 2007, the US military was "the greatest force for human liberation the world has ever known."

Though there was much talk at the time about the "liberation" of Afghanistan and then Iraq, at least in their imaginations the true country being liberated was the planet's lone superpower. Although the Bush administration was officially considered a "conservative" one, its key officials were geopolitical dreamers of the first order and their vision of the world was the very opposite of conservative. It harkened back to nothing and looked forward to everything.

It was radical in ways that should have, but didn't, take the American public's breath away; radical in ways that had never been seen before.

Shock and awe for the last superpower

Think of what those officials did in the post-9/11 moment as the ultimate act of greed. They tried to swallow a whole planet. They were determined to make it a planet of one in a way that had never before been seriously imagined.

It was, to say the least, a vision of madness. Even in a moment when it truly did seem – to them at least – that all constraints had been taken off, an administration of genuine conservatives might have hesitated. Its top officials might, at least, have approached the post-Soviet situation with a modicum of caution and modesty.

But not George W Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and pals. In the face of what seemed like the ultimate in possibilities they proved clueless when it came to the possibility that anything on Earth might have a shot at containing them.

Even among their critics, who could have imagined then that, more than 16 years later, having faced only lightly armed enemies of various sorts, still wealthy beyond compare, still with a military funded in a way the next seven countries couldn't cumulatively match, the United States would have won literally nothing?

Who could have imagined that, unlike so many preceding imperial powers (including the US of the earlier Cold War era), it would have been able to establish control over nothing at all; that, instead, from Afghanistan to Syria, Iraq deep into Africa, it would find itself in a state of " infinite war " and utter frustration on a planet filled with ever more failed states , destroyed cities , displaced people , and right-wing "populist" governments, including the one in Washington?

Who could have imagined that, with a peace dividend no longer faintly conceivable, this country would have found itself not just in decline, but – a new term is needed to catch the essence of this curious moment – in what might be called self-decline?

Yes, a new power, China, is finally rising – and doing so on a planet that seems itself to be going down . Here, then, is a conclusion that might be drawn from the quarter-century-plus in which America was both unchained and largely alone.

The Earth is admittedly a small orb in a vast universe, but the history of this century so far suggests one reality about which America's rulers proved utterly clueless: After so many hundreds of years of imperial struggle, this planet still remains too big, too disparate, too ornery to be controlled by a single power. What the Bush administration did was simply take one gulp too many and the result has been a kind of national (and planetary) indigestion.

Despite what it looked like in Washington once upon a time, the disappearance of the Soviet Union proved to be no gift at all, but a disaster of the first order. It removed all sense of limits from America's political class and led to a tale of greed on a planetary scale. In the process, it also set the US on a path to self-decline.

The history of greed in our time has yet to be written, but what a story it will someday make. In it, the greed of those geopolitical dreamers will intersect with the greed of an ever wealthier, ever more gilded 1%, of the billionaires who were preparing to swallow whole the political system of that last superpower and grab so much of the wealth of the planet, leaving so little for others.

Whether you're talking about the urge to control the planet militarily or financially, what took place in these years could, in the end, result in ruin of a historic kind. To use a favored phrase from the Bush years, one of these days we Americans may be facing little short of "regime change" on a planetary scale. And what a piece of shock and awe that's likely to prove to be.

All of us, of course, now live on the planet Bush's boys tried to swallow whole. They left us in a world of infinite war, infinite harm, and in Donald Trump's America where cluelessness has been raised to a new power.

[Jun 19, 2018] Counterdrug Programs Come With Increased Drug Production - Where Does The Money Go

Notable quotes:
"... Here's a thought: If the USG was truly interested in controlling opium production in Afghanistan it would simply use the counternarcotics money to buy up the crop directly from the farmers. The price at that level would be incredibly cheap compared to the "street value" of the drug. The farmers would happily sell to such a reliable buyer and not need to fear the risk of military interference. The current Afghan government would likely earn the goodwill of the farmers and it would cut off funding to the Taliban. It will never happen, however; because our military project in Afghanistan is mostly about enriching private military contractors while keeping the the "threat" of terrorism alive and well. War is a racket. ..."
"... b, have you read "Whiteout" by Alexander Cockburn (RIP) and Jeffrey St. Clair? It was written decades ago but is still relevant. I'm sure the CIA DOES make money from drugs although the CIA black books budget is so large they hardly need the cash. But one imagines it's nice to have a few millions completely out of government accountability--for lining their own pockets if nothing else. ..."
"... I highly recommend Doug Valentine's book, "CIA as Organized Crime." CIA Director William Colby gave him free access to interview CIA officials who had been involved in the Phoenix program in South Vietnam. Since all those CIA officers/agents had Colby's blessing, they assumed Valentine was on their side. Oops! Bottom line: There is ZERO difference between CIA and the Mafia. They are essentially one and the same, though they generally have different spheres of action. One upon which they overlap is drug production, smuggling and distribution. ..."
"... I would add that there is ZERO difference between supra-national finance and the Mafia. For instance, the bank, HSBC was founded to launder opium money after Great Britain fought the Opium Wars forcing China to permit them to import opium into China. Former FBI Director and on again/off again hero of the partisans, James Comey left his career with the US Government to work for HSBC after they were finally fined for laundering cash from both drug smuggling and terrorist groups. His job was to help them "negotiate" the new "oversight" placed on the bank. ..."
"... John Ehrlichman, who served as President Richard Nixon's domestic policy chief admitted back in 1994 that the "War on Drugs" was actually a political tool to crush leftist protesters and black people. "We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did." ..."
"... Mike Ruppert was an associate of Gary Webb's, was a Los Angeles detective and knew a lot about the CIA's involvement in the Crips/Bloods Drug Wars and its massive importation of drugs into the nation. His investigation was used as his website URL , copvcia, although its name was From The Wilderness. Until 911, his investigation was his passion, then he discovered he had another and it was connected to the former. Here's a page many will want to view . It's hard not to reread the entire website. Unfortunately, Mike saved and only released much of the juicier evidence to his subscribers--he had to eke out a living in some manner. ..."
"... Back in 2002, when the poppy production too off, the idea of flooding Russia was in vogue, it may still be in the game. Transit through Iran to Turkey was also in play. Money laundering started out in "Polish Zlotys", through the banks there. ..."
"... I presume much of that counternarcotics money ends up being cash in hand to thousands of foot-soldiers working for local warlords in Afghanistan as farmers, security personnel, soldiers, prostitutes and what-not, in a way similar to how part of Victoria Nuland's $5 billion investment in Ukraine ended up as cash incentives to entice people from as far as Lvov to travel to Kiev to participate in the Maidan demonstrations over the winter of 2013 / 2014. ..."
"... This in addition to the billions being used to buy weapons, train and send jihadists to fight in other parts of western and central Asia, and line people's pockets at every stage of the drug money trail whether in Afghanistan, Wall Street or various tax havens around the planet. ..."
"... And to the east, I remember reading that one of the first things the US did was to build a bridge and highway towards the east; shortly thereafter, heroin flooded into Russia. ..."
"... Alfred W. McCoy is the authority on drugs and CIA. He's still doing great work, publishing books.His first, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia is a classic.His latest, In the Shadows of the American Century, is brilliant analysis. Some videos on youtube, also. He has traveled, researched every ratline trail and outpost all over the globe. Read him if you want the real facts. ..."
Jun 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

james , Jun 18, 2018 1:30:38 PM | 2

thanks b... the speculation has always been in my mind anyway - that the money is controlled by the cia... covert money for covert projects and on and on it goes...
LXV , Jun 18, 2018 1:47:36 PM | 3
b wrote: "I am not aware of any sound evidence that shows that the CIA reaped financial profits from drug dealing."

Define 'sound evidence, b... For some, it's a kilo of stash; for others (like myself), it's suffice with the testimony of (suicided) insiders, like Gary Webb (RIP).

ben , Jun 18, 2018 2:06:01 PM | 4
james @ 2 said:" covert money for covert projects and on and on it goes..."

Yes, and what they don't spend on "projects", goes to their minions and sycophants..

ken , Jun 18, 2018 2:16:06 PM | 5
The Taliban curtailed the poppy growing without any problem. Shortly after the US invasion under the guise of capturing OBL. Almost 18 years later, long after the death of OBL (in reality and in US military BS) the poppy production has increased exponentially. There are Pics of US military personnel walking through poppy fields.
Other than drug production there is no need for the US to be in Afghanistan except maybe to use it as a launching platform to attack Iran. Drugs are an excellent source for funding black ops.

Not only is the US allowing the production, considering how easy it would be for them to kill the crops, and IMHO it as also assisting in the transportation of drugs to the West.

librul , Jun 18, 2018 3:16:16 PM | 11

b says the efforts appear counterproductive. Here is why:

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/afghanistan-the-making-of-a-narco-state-20141204#

If you understand the Afghan government as a narco state, then the fact that opium production has actually increased –while the U.S. spent billions on counternarcotics efforts and troop numbers surged – starts to make sense. A completely failed state – Afghanistan in 2001 – can't really thrive in the drug trade. Traffickers have no reason to pay off a toothless government or a nonexistent police force. In such a libertarian paradise, freelance actors – like Saleem, the heroin cook – flourish.

But as the government builds capacity, officials can start to demand a cut. It's not that there's a grand conspiracy at the center of government, but rather that, in the absence of accountability and the rule of law, officials start to orient themselves around a powerful political economy. Big drug barons with links to the government take over the trade. People who don't pay, or who fall out with government officials, might find themselves killed or arrested.

In this light, U.S. counternarcotics programs, which have cost nearly $8 billion to date, and the Afghan state-building project in general, are perversely part of the explanation for the growing government involvement in the drug trade. Even the newly rebuilt Afghan Air Force has been investigated by the U.S. military for alleged trafficking. In many places, the surge had the effect of wresting opium revenue from the Taliban and handing it to government officials. For example, in Helmand's Garmsir District, which sits on key trafficking routes between the rest of the province and Baramcha, a big Marine offensive in 2011 finally pushed out the Taliban and handed the district back to the Afghan government. The result? The police began taking a cut from those drug routes. "There are families, as in Mafia-style, that have the trade carved up between them, and when some outsider tries to get in on it, they serve him up as a success for drug interdiction," one Western official who worked in Garmsir told me.

I just luv-ed this next paragraph. Glad I wasn't sipping Coca Cola
while I read it. Would have chortled cola out my nose!

Here is government BS-speak at it's vacuous best (enjoy):

The U.S. government, for its part, acknowledged that there are no quick solutions at hand. "The U.S. interagency is developing an updated counternarcotics strategy for Afghanistan," says Jen Psaki, the State Department's spokeswoman. "These are long-term efforts that build the foundation for eventual reductions in opium harvests."
Chris G , Jun 18, 2018 4:04:03 PM | 14
Here's a thought: If the USG was truly interested in controlling opium production in Afghanistan it would simply use the counternarcotics money to buy up the crop directly from the farmers. The price at that level would be incredibly cheap compared to the "street value" of the drug. The farmers would happily sell to such a reliable buyer and not need to fear the risk of military interference. The current Afghan government would likely earn the goodwill of the farmers and it would cut off funding to the Taliban. It will never happen, however; because our military project in Afghanistan is mostly about enriching private military contractors while keeping the the "threat" of terrorism alive and well. War is a racket.
WorldBLee , Jun 18, 2018 4:08:12 PM | 15
b, have you read "Whiteout" by Alexander Cockburn (RIP) and Jeffrey St. Clair? It was written decades ago but is still relevant. I'm sure the CIA DOES make money from drugs although the CIA black books budget is so large they hardly need the cash. But one imagines it's nice to have a few millions completely out of government accountability--for lining their own pockets if nothing else.
Daniel , Jun 18, 2018 4:32:10 PM | 17
I highly recommend Doug Valentine's book, "CIA as Organized Crime." CIA Director William Colby gave him free access to interview CIA officials who had been involved in the Phoenix program in South Vietnam. Since all those CIA officers/agents had Colby's blessing, they assumed Valentine was on their side. Oops! Bottom line: There is ZERO difference between CIA and the Mafia. They are essentially one and the same, though they generally have different spheres of action. One upon which they overlap is drug production, smuggling and distribution.

I would add that there is ZERO difference between supra-national finance and the Mafia. For instance, the bank, HSBC was founded to launder opium money after Great Britain fought the Opium Wars forcing China to permit them to import opium into China. Former FBI Director and on again/off again hero of the partisans, James Comey left his career with the US Government to work for HSBC after they were finally fined for laundering cash from both drug smuggling and terrorist groups. His job was to help them "negotiate" the new "oversight" placed on the bank.

Daniel , Jun 18, 2018 4:37:37 PM | 18
John Ehrlichman, who served as President Richard Nixon's domestic policy chief admitted back in 1994 that the "War on Drugs" was actually a political tool to crush leftist protesters and black people. "We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."
karlof1 , Jun 18, 2018 5:29:48 PM | 20
Mike Ruppert was an associate of Gary Webb's, was a Los Angeles detective and knew a lot about the CIA's involvement in the Crips/Bloods Drug Wars and its massive importation of drugs into the nation. His investigation was used as his website URL , copvcia, although its name was From The Wilderness. Until 911, his investigation was his passion, then he discovered he had another and it was connected to the former. Here's a page many will want to view . It's hard not to reread the entire website. Unfortunately, Mike saved and only released much of the juicier evidence to his subscribers--he had to eke out a living in some manner.

The CIA is the planet's #1 Terrorist Organization, and it has all 3 types of Weapons of Mass Destruction. It's often hard to determine which poses a greater threat to humanity: The CIA or its parent the Outlaw US Empire. If humanity's to have any chance at a viable future, both the CIA and its Imperial parent must be destroyed for their many crimes.

Ornot , Jun 18, 2018 5:49:10 PM | 21
Seymore Hersh first (to my knowledge) first looked at CIA drug links when people exited buildings not using the stairs.
https://www.nytimes.com/1975/07/10/archives/family-plans-to-sue-cia-over-suicide-in-drug-test-family-planning.html

That CIA was experimenting with narcotics as a tool seemed to have metasticised into something else during the Air America years, which in turn seems to have morphed via Barry Seal (& Gary Webb's investigation)and the Cocaine Coyboys onward into Silk Airways (famed by weapons to Syria scandal) -
https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/first/c/cockburn-white.html

https://www.globalresearch.ca/oliver-north-worked-with-cocaine-traffickers-to-arm-terrorists-now-hell-be-president-of-the-national-rifle-association-nra/5640431
Whatever the post WWII period there seems to be a airline moving illicit product(s) across borders and a rouge militia force hook up. While powder is not as convertable as say Bitcoin, it leaves no paper trail.

Good luck with the research - its a long dark deep rabbit hole, leading to many fingers in many pies.

https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB2/
https://www.minnpost.com/eric-black-ink/2009/03/investigative-reporter-seymour-hersh-describes-executive-assassination-ring

Eugene , Jun 18, 2018 6:36:02 PM | 23
Back in 2002, when the poppy production too off, the idea of flooding Russia was in vogue, it may still be in the game. Transit through Iran to Turkey was also in play. Money laundering started out in "Polish Zlotys", through the banks there.

Addicts were given small sums to deposit in the banks, by the thousands, which didn't draw attention. A lot of the money was sent to the U.S. to buy "American Muscle Cars", which were then shipped back to the E.U. and resold again.

Pakistan was also a transit country where the "Labs" were first set up to process the opium to heroin. How time fly's when having fun. Addiction to "drugs" isn't the only addiction nor the addicts involved either. Only one leaf in the book of the minds of those who believe they are doing the right thing.

Jen , Jun 18, 2018 6:54:58 PM | 26
I presume much of that counternarcotics money ends up being cash in hand to thousands of foot-soldiers working for local warlords in Afghanistan as farmers, security personnel, soldiers, prostitutes and what-not, in a way similar to how part of Victoria Nuland's $5 billion investment in Ukraine ended up as cash incentives to entice people from as far as Lvov to travel to Kiev to participate in the Maidan demonstrations over the winter of 2013 / 2014.

Also a big portion of the counternarcotics dosh must be going to teams of people digging up and burning opium and also to teams of people planting new opium seeds in the areas where the first lot of opium was eradicated later on. Similar to stories people used to hear about what supposedly happened during the 1930s Great Depression, when teams of people were employed to dig ditches and then other teams of people were employed to fill up the ditches which would be dug up again at a later time.

This in addition to the billions being used to buy weapons, train and send jihadists to fight in other parts of western and central Asia, and line people's pockets at every stage of the drug money trail whether in Afghanistan, Wall Street or various tax havens around the planet.

frances , Jun 18, 2018 7:06:21 PM | 28
reply to:
".. and IMHO it as also assisting in the transportation of drugs to the West."
Posted by: ken | Jun 18, 2018 2:16:06 PM | 5

And to the east, I remember reading that one of the first things the US did was to build a bridge and highway towards the east; shortly thereafter, heroin flooded into Russia.

oldenyoung , Jun 18, 2018 7:08:31 PM | 29
The level of US "counter-narcotic" investment seems to be about right to support the GROWTH of the narcotics industry...not the otherway around...its black and its dirty

regards

OY

Mark2 , Jun 18, 2018 7:14:33 PM | 30
Every comment on this post is like a fine champagne of reality. how do people get by with out wanting to know the truth. keep the comments coming I need more! Brilliant links. The doors of perception just opened for me. Who the hell runs our TVs stations that they can turn a blind I to this lot.
-------
I to find great strength in music, to find the truth. For me it is reggae any group in society that has sufferd what we discuss on this site for 300 years, but have survived got stronger and put it to music, I feel needs listening to!!!
Daniel Bruno , Jun 18, 2018 7:51:32 PM | 32
The "War on Drugs" was conceived to put black people in jail en masse as Jim Crow came to an end. Nixon's aides admitted this. Read "The New Jim Crow" for the full story. Marijuana laws were first introduced in the early 20th century as a tool to arrest and deport Mexicans from the American southwest. Google it.

The bullshit "War on Drugs" is as phony as the bullshit "War on Terror" in the wake of 3 skyscrapers that were demolished and collapsed at freefall speed.

The real money is to be made in the bullshit wars spawned by these 2 hoaxes that boggle the mind in their scope.

Basically, these two cornerstones of American domestic and foreign policy are frauds of biblical proportions.

An empire built on these foundations will come crashing down as fast as WTC 7 on the afternoon of September 11, 2001.

0use4msm , Jun 18, 2018 8:35:04 PM | 33
"O my, cocaine" is an anagram of "CIA economy".

Various Contra-cocaine type operations of un/controlled shipments of drugs existed in the early 1990s, some of which existed in order to arm Bosnia (local fighters and foreign mujahideen), thereby undermining the UN's arms embargo of former Yugoslav states.

Between 1988 and 1992, 22 tons of cocaine was brought into the US via Venezuela by a team consisting of Mark McFarlin (head of the CIA's counter-narcotics center), Jim Campbell (the CIA's chief of station in Venezuela) and General Guillén (head of the Venezuelan National Guard in the pre-Chavez era).
Anti-Drug Unit of C.I.A. Sent Ton of Cocaine to U.S. in 1990

At roughly the same time Albanian mobsters had built a heroin smuggling network for the purpose of illegally supplying arms to the Bosnian mujahideen.
Drugs Paying for Conflict in Europe

In the summer of 1991, Dutch drug lord Klaas Bruinsma, who had connections with members of the Dutch elite (corporate and royal), the Colombian Cali cartel and the Yugoslav mafia, was assassinated by either former cop Martin Hoogland (possibly working for intelligence), or the Yugoslav mobster Branco Marianovic. In that same summer, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 713 (the Yugoslav arms embargo), and soon after elements within Dutch customs and police, in cooperation with Bruinsma's business heirs/infiltrators, started the controlled shipment of large amounts of cocaine (estimated 25,000 kilo) and hashish (estimated 500,000 kilo) under the name "Operation Delta". The customs officials involved in Operation Delta were most likely protected by their boss Fred Teeven, later rewarded by given the job of State Secretary for Security and Justice. Mabel Wisse-Smit, daughter of a top banker (possibly drug money launderer) and future sister-in-law of the current Dutch king, was first the lover of drug lord Bruinsma (until his assassination, possibly she was sent to spy on him) and then the lover of Wall St. banker Mohamed Sacirbey (Bosnia's ambassador to UN in 1992, Bosnia's foreign minister in 1995). Wisse-Smit (later a George Soros protégé) co-founded the Dutch charity foundation War Child, which was used as a cover for arms lobbying during the Bosnia war, and she is reported by Bosnian media to have been involved in a specific arms deal with Egypt.

Red Ryder , Jun 18, 2018 8:41:17 PM | 34
Alfred W. McCoy is the authority on drugs and CIA. He's still doing great work, publishing books.His first, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia is a classic.His latest, In the Shadows of the American Century, is brilliant analysis. Some videos on youtube, also. He has traveled, researched every ratline trail and outpost all over the globe. Read him if you want the real facts.
Curtis , Jun 18, 2018 9:44:25 PM | 36
It's good to know so many are well informed on this. I've read Rupert/Webb's stuff and have Dark Alliance. There's a good movie/documentary out there about Webb but I can't recall the name right now. Levine wrote about his undercover work in South American being thwarted by the CIA. And Bo Gritz was trying to set up a deal where the US would buy up Khun Sa's opium before it could be distributed but the USG wasn't interested. The amazing thing about the Afghan ramp up in supply was seeing pictures of US soldiers patrolling in the middle of poppy fields. Meanwhile at home, congress takes bribes (lobbying efforts) to help protect the legal drug pushers from prosecution by the DEA shoving millions of pills across the country. A friend's term for this kind of thing is "racket science."
Lozion , Jun 18, 2018 9:56:06 PM | 37
@36 "Kill the messenger" with Jeremy Renner..
Pft , Jun 18, 2018 9:59:20 PM | 38
Red Ryder@34

Yeah, his updated edition is a must read. They do not handle the money directly, they let the guerillas/rebels/revolutionaries handle that as a reward and provide protection from legal authorities and access to markets using various agencies and mafia at both ends of the supply-distribution chain. The dollars from the drugs pay for the weapons and support. The profits go into nameless offshore Eurodollar accounts which then flow into London and Wall Street as eurodollar loans in many multiples of the deposits (not to be confused with the euro) to speculate in various markets and drive up asset prices. When the Taliban shut down opium production we had the Dot.com crash (coincidence?). 100 billion a year can generate 1 trillion in dollars for speculators, and that was sorely missed (along with Clinton running a surplus instead of a deficit)

There is so much evidence that in many places where they were or are engaged that drug flows in the region increased and production increased in those areas known for growing the stuff. Like any organization only those with a need to know have an idea and the majority are clean and without information

psychohistorian , Jun 18, 2018 10:11:18 PM | 39
While we are discussing history of the War on Drugs another example of a major consumer organization (at the time of print) being turned into a vacuous shell....

Licit and Illicit Drugs is a 1972 book on recreational drug use by medical writer Edward M. Brecher and the editors of Consumer Reports.

The WIkipedia summary
"
The book describes the effects and risks of psychoactive drugs which were common in contemporary use for recreational and nonmedical purposes.[2] The New York Times paraphrased some major arguments from the book, saying "'Drug-free' treatment of heroin addiction almost never works", "Nicotine can be as tough to beat as heroin", and "Good or bad, marijuana is here to stay. The billions spent to fight it are wasted dollars."[3] The book identifies marijuana as the most popular drug after tobacco, alcohol, and nicotine.[4] A reviewer for the Journal of the American Medical Association summarized it by saying that "Brecher holds that the division of drugs into licit and illicit categories is medically irrational and rooted mainly in historical and sociological factors."[5]
"

Daniel , Jun 18, 2018 10:52:53 PM | 40
karlof1. Amazing that you knew Mike. And yes, the willful ignorance is horribly frustrating.

The way I see it, almost all "Westerners" are willfully ignorant. We all must know that the only way we live to the "standards" we do is because of the plunder of both our colonial past and neoliberal present. But most choose to look aside.

For those who haven't seen it, please spend 17 minutes to see Mallence Bart-Williams give an incredible talk.

Alogon , Jun 19, 2018 12:58:19 AM | 41
I have nothing to add to this except to say great article b and excellent comments from posters.

[Jun 18, 2018] ASSAD US and Israeli intervention prevents reconciliation in Syria (Interview) by Frank Sellers

Notable quotes:
"... Assad is adamant that the price demanded by the Americans, that of absolute US hegemony, is one that Syria will never pay ..."
"... For the Americans, there is a general principle they follow in dealing with any problem in the world. The only price they ask for is absolute hegemony, regardless of the issue and the place. Of course, we shall never provide that price; otherwise we wouldn't have fought this war for years . We have been fighting for the independence of Syrian decision-making, for the Syrian homeland, and for the unity of Syrian territory. As for Iran in particular, let me be very clear: the Syrian-Iranian relationship is a strategic one not subject to a deal in the south or in the north. This relationship, in terms of its implications and results on the ground, is linked to the present and future of the region ..."
Jun 18, 2018 | theduran.com

Assad is adamant that the price demanded by the Americans, that of absolute US hegemony, is one that Syria will never pay

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad revealed in a recent interview with Iranian media al-Alam TV that attempts at achieving non military resolutions to conflicts inside Syria via reconciliation is being actively prevented by intervention from Israel and the US. He is adamant that the price demanded by the Americans, that of absolute US hegemony, is one that Syria will never pay. Video of the interview is furnished below in English, courtesy of Press TV , followed by a transcript obtained from Syria 360 Internationalist News Agency . Added emphasis on certain statements is mine.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/RbLONDCe3Ro

13 June، 2018
Damascus, SANA

President Bashar al-Assad affirmed that the Syrian south is in front of two options; reconciliation or liberation by force, indicating that at this point, there are no concrete results for a simple reason which is Israeli and American interference, for they put pressure on the terrorists in that area in order to prevent reaching any compromise or peaceful resolution.

The President added in an interview given to Iran's Al-ALAM TV that the Syrian-Iranian relation is strategic not subject to a deal and it is linked to the present and future of the region , affirming that neither Syria nor Iran has floated this relationship on the international political bazaar for it to be subject to haggling.

President al-Assad affirmed that since the beginning of the war, particularly when it started to have a clear military nature on the southern front in particular, the Israelis used to shell Syrian forces continuously, and consequently provide direct support to the terrorists. Israeli artillery and aircraft are the terrorists' artillery and aircraft Despite Israeli support to the terrorists, we have been doing our job, and the Syrian Army is fighting its way towards the southern front, and has liberated a number of areas within the limits of its capabilities. So, with or without its approval, the decision is a Syrian one, and this is a national duty we shall carry out.

Following the full text of the interview;

Question 1: Mr. President, there are many issues which we will talk about, but in the light of the victories you have achieved, the main focus remains the south of Syria. What's happening exactly, or what is the nature of what is happening in the south of Syria?

President Assad: To put it simply, after the liberation of al-Ghouta, it was suggested that we should move south. We were faced with two options, as is the case in all other areas in Syria: reconciliation or liberation by force. At this point, the Russians suggested the possibility of giving reconciliation an opportunity, similar to what happened in other areas, in order to restore the situation that prevailed before 2011. In other words, for the Syrian Army to be deployed in that area, which is an area of confrontation with the Zionist enemy. And of course the terrorists should leave the area. This proposition suits us. Up till now, there are no concrete results for a simple reason which is Israeli and American interference; for they put pressure on the terrorists in that area in order to prevent reaching any compromise or peaceful resolution . That is how the situation stands now.

Question 2: So, it hasn't been decided whether to move towards a military operation or towards reconciliation?

President Assad: No, contacts are still ongoing between the Russians, the Americans, and the Israelis, while nobody is communicating with the terrorists, because they are mere tools, and they implement what their masters decide ultimately. This is what happened, i.e. there was an opportunity to reach reconciliation, but the American and Israeli interference prevented that possibility .

Question 3: Of course, this is the reality there. But on the other hand, there are those who talk about many things taking place in the south. Mr. President, is there a certain deal, what is the price? Is there really a price for concluding this deal in the south? Let me talk frankly about the issue of getting the Iranians to leave the southern region in return for al-Tanf, for example. What did the Americans demand, or let's say, what was the price the Americans asked to approve the reconciliation process in the south?

President Assad: For the Americans, there is a general principle they follow in dealing with any problem in the world. The only price they ask for is absolute hegemony, regardless of the issue and the place. Of course, we shall never provide that price; otherwise we wouldn't have fought this war for years . We have been fighting for the independence of Syrian decision-making, for the Syrian homeland, and for the unity of Syrian territory. As for Iran in particular, let me be very clear: the Syrian-Iranian relationship is a strategic one not subject to a deal in the south or in the north. This relationship, in terms of its implications and results on the ground, is linked to the present and future of the region. Consequently, it is not subject to the price tags of the international bazaar. Neither Syria nor Iran has floated this relationship on the international political bazaar for it to be subject to haggling. The proposition was made by the Israelis with the objective of provoking and embarrassing Iran. At the same time, this comes in line with the international propaganda campaign launched against Iran regarding the nuclear file. It is not a separate issue; for everything happening now is linked to Iran in order to create an international position against it. As for us in Syria, the decision concerning our land is an exclusively Syrian decision. We are fighting the same battle, and when we have a decision concerning Iran, we will talk about it with the Iranians and not with any other party .

Question 4: Of course, we will talk more about Iran and in more detail, but since we are talking about the southern front, let's explore it further. Practically, in the same context, there is the MOC which hasn't stopped its operations since the beginning of the war on Syria about eight years ago. It is working and is still active, and is directly linked to the Israelis. But we have noticed recently that it has been reactivated, and there are more communications. Mr. President, does this mean that the Syrian state is practically moving towards a military decisive action in the south regardless of the consequences, whether things reach a stalemate or not? Is a decisive action in the cards for the Syrian leadership?

President Assad: No, MOC has nothing to do with this decision. MOC has been linked to the presence and the role of the terrorists since the beginning of the war on Syria. That's why it existed: in order to lead them militarily. Consequently, the continued existence of this operations room means the continuation of the role given to these terrorists, i.e. they are equipped and prepared to carry out more terrorist acts. MOC is linked to the terrorists and not to the role of the Syrian state. Our role has nothing to do with it. Our decision has been clear from the beginning: we will liberate all Syrian lands. As to when to move south, north, east, or west, this is a purely military issue. But regardless of MOC, we have moved towards the south and we are giving the political process a chance. If that doesn't succeed, we have no other option but to liberate it by force.

Question 5: But there is a confrontation in the south, and the issue is not limited geographically to Syria in the larger political sense. There are the Americans, the Russians, the Iranians, the Israelis, and Hezbollah. All these parties are there in the area. What does that mean? How are you going to deal with this?

President Assad: You are talking about two axes: one supporting terrorism, and represented by the US, Israel, and some flunkies in the region including some Arab and non-Arab states, and an anti-terrorist axis. The first axis supports terrorism and seeks hegemony, while the second axis seeks independence. So, there can be only one result for this confrontation, i.e. the victory of one of these axes. At least, as far as the anti-terrorist axis is concerned, it will not give up the process of cleaning Syria and the region of terrorism and will not give up on the unity of Syrian territory .

As to the other axis, will it change as a result of the reality on the ground? Let's wait and see. But in terms of substance and convictions, it will not change, while in terms of the political practices dictated by reality and the facts on the ground, it might.

Question 6: Will the Americans leave al-Tanf?

President Assad: The Americans say they are ready, but everyone knows that the Americans are historically professional liars in politics. So why should we believe them? Also, we have to wait and see.

Question 7: Mr. President, what's happening now in Jordan? Is it linked to what's happening on the southern front in particular, i.e. is it linked to what is being plotted in that region, in your view?

President Assad: In fact, the only information we have is what we hear in the media. In any case, we wish Jordan stability, not chaos, because the latter will have a negative impact on us.

Question 8: Since we are talking about the south, let's close this file. Mr. President, what would make the Israeli occupation agree to the return of the Syrian Army to the borders, i.e. a return to the situation which existed at the beginning of 2011, after seven years of repeated Zionist attempts, directly and indirectly, to undermine the Syrian state, the regime in Syria, and stability in Syria. Why would it agree now to the return of the Syrian Army to the borders and to the occupied Golan?

President Assad: Certainly, neither conviction, morality, nor international law means anything to the Israelis. Since the beginning of the war, particularly when it started to have a clear military nature on the southern front in particular, the Israelis used to shell Syrian forces continuously, and consequently provide direct support to the terrorists. Israeli artillery and aircraft are the terrorists' artillery and aircraft. That applies to Jabhat al-Nusra of course . Nothing is going to change this Israeli approach. As far as we are concerned, Israel's approval had no role at all. Despite Israeli support to the terrorists, we have been doing our job, and the Syrian Army is fighting its way towards the southern front, and has liberated a number of areas within the limits of its capabilities. So, with or without its approval, the decision is a Syrian one, and this is a national duty we shall carry out.

Question 9: So, a return of the Syrian Army is better than having resistance in the Golan, for instance?

President Assad: For the Israelis?

Journalist: Yes.

President Assad: I think the two options are bad for the Israelis. Both of them are bad. Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah has repeatedly talked about Syria's relationship with the resistance and a Syrian role in the resistance. So, how would the Israelis choose between two bad things for them?

Question 10: As you said, Mr. President, Israel has financed, supported, and more dangerously was capable of enlisting a large number of Syrians, some of whom were treated inside occupied Palestine. They talked about it. In the future, how would you deal with this large number of Israeli agents? Maybe some of them were misled and Israel might have exploited the financial and living conditions of some; and some have chosen to side with the Israelis. How would you deal with them in the future?

President Assad: This is true; we cannot put everyone in the same basket. There are different reasons for moving in this wrong direction; and these people have wronged the homeland and every Syrian citizen. Ultimately, they are the children of this homeland, and we all bear responsibility for this problem, not only those who have done wrong. When crime, for instance, becomes widespread in a certain country, the whole society bears responsibility for this crime, not only the security agencies or the criminals themselves. The first thing that should be done is to accommodate these people. Second, we need to address the root causes which led to this case of weak patriotism. The causes here are many and complicated, and the scope of this interview doesn't allow for all of them to be mentioned.

Question 11: In the same context, while you are talking about restoring the Syrian air defense systems and confronting the Zionist occupation, statements have been made by leaders of the Israeli entity that they will strike at the depth of Syrian territory. How would you deal with that situation, particularly that balance has been achieved recently, i.e. balance between Israeli aggressions and Syrian responses?

President Assad: Basically, we haven't stopped responding. First of all, we haven't stopped fighting terrorists, and at the same time we haven't stopped responding to Israeli aggression within the capabilities available to us, militarily and technically. Moreover, the more these capabilities improve; the response will be better and higher. But in fact the strongest response to Israel now is to strike the Israeli army existing in Syria which consists practically of the terrorists .

Journalist: You consider them an Israeli army?

President Assad: Of course, for they are acting clearly and starkly in Israel's interest. The first acts they carried out were attacks against the air defense systems. What is the link between air defense systems and the terrorists acting as infantry on the ground? This was an Israeli order. It was an Israeli-American order because it is the same thing. So, they are Israel's army inside Syria; and the first strike against Israel, politically, militarily, and in every other area, is to strike Israel's terrorists inside Syria, whether they belong to ISIS, al-Nusra, or the other groups linked to the Israeli plan and strategy.

Journalist: If Israel escalates, are you prepared to respond more forcefully?

President Assad: This is what's happening. It is escalating, and we are responding. Ultimately, we are fighting the war within the capabilities available to us, and we are doing our best within these capabilities. A response does not need a political decision. I stress that responding or not responding is not a political decision. It is a national decision, and it was taken from day one. But implementing this decision depends on what we can do militarily and not politically.

Question 12: In terms of capabilities, there is one issue in the media which we are always following, i.e. the S300 Russian missiles. Russia says, "We will deliver these missiles", and then says, "We will not deliver them", which means that the issue is not clear. What is happening exactly? Why this Russian hesitation, in your view, in delivering the S300 missiles to Syria, while some other countries have been seeking S400, i.e. they are ahead of us in this regard.

President Assad: You know that military action and military considerations are part of political considerations. Consequently, a statement, even if it is of a military nature, carries at the same time political messages. So, why did the Russians say that they want to send or not send? This is a statement that the Russians should be asked about because it might be part of their political tactics. As to the military aspect of the statement, which concerns Syria, it's not our custom to talk about the weapon which will be delivered or not delivered. The evidence was that the weapons used in response to the last two aggressions, the tripartite aggression and after that the Israeli aggression, were not announced by Syria. We traditionally do not announce cases of a technical military nature.

Journalist: So, even the nature of the response is not linked to the issue of the S300 missiles?

President Assad: No. The same applies. Even if the S300 missiles will be provided or not provided, we will not say that they were delivered to Syria. A weapon is used when it must be used.

Journalist: Is there a possibility that you have developed certain weapons?

President Assad: This remains a possibility. In any case, the result is the same: weapons shouldn't be talked about until they are used. Weapons announce themselves only when they are used.

Question 13: Mr. President, let's return to the political aspect, since we are talking about the southern front. Regarding the general situation, in light of all that has been achieved on the Syrian arena today, the most prominent actor is the tripartite alliance, or what is being called the tripartite alliance. I mean Syria, Iran, and Russia. What is the nature of this alliance? Is it a temporary alliance, in the sense that it is linked to fighting terrorism or to certain developments on the Syrian arena? Recently, we have started to see – or let's say some have focused on certain points in order to show – a certain fracture in this alliance. What is your take on that and what is the actual reality of this alliance?

President Assad: If we talk first about the Syrian-Iranian part, for 40 years, and in the different conditions that the Middle East region has gone through, this alliance remained solid. So, there is no reason to say that it is temporary or otherwise. The new element in the war on Syria is the Russian element, and that's why this tripartite alliance came into existence. Our relationship with Russia is now about seven decades old. Despite the fluctuations and the fall of the Soviet Union, the rule of President Yeltsin, and the deterioration of these relations to a large degree for us, it has never reached the stage of reversing this relationship with Syria. Russia continued to deal with Syria as a friendly state, and we have imported everything from Russia, including weapons, during the different stages of the sanctions imposed on Syria. It is not in the nature of the Russians to build temporary or self-serving alliances or to sell out on relations in order to get deals done. The relationship is definitely a strategic one, but the political statements allowed for these speculations.

These statements also aim at sending messages in different directions. Maybe, sometimes the language or the choice of particular terminology might not be helpful and might take the statement in a different direction at odds with the content of the statement. This happens from time to time. However, these statements shouldn't be taken out of context: the Russian view of the relationship with Iran is a strategic one. As for Syria, the Russians do not interfere in Syrian affairs. If they have a certain opinion, they raise it with us and say that in the end, the decision is that of the Syrian leadership and the Syrian people. This is a constant principle for Russia. Therefore, the alliance is a strategic one, and if there are differences, such differences happen within the Syrian state, and you see differences within the Iranian state and within the Russian state. It is natural for us to differ on daily tactical details, for why conduct a dialogue if we agree on everything? We meet extensively in order to reach agreement.

Journalist: So, this tripartite alliance is being consolidated.

President Assad: Of course. This is dictated by reality, interest, and international changes that make it necessary for this alliance to be consolidated. As long as the other axis supports terrorism, and as long as we, together with Iran and Russia, feel the danger of terrorism, not only in Syria, but also on all these countries and on the whole world, and as long as Syria, Iran, and Russia realize the importance of abiding by international law, these facts make the existence of this alliance necessary.

Question 14: But there are those who say that Syria will get a price if the Iranians leave Syrian territories. Is there a certain political, moral, or military price in this regard?

President Assad: As I said in the beginning, as long as this relationship is not floated in the bazaar, they cannot offer a price, and the answer will be clear. That's why they don't dare suggest this price. This issue was raised by different countries, including Saudi Arabia for instance, at the beginning of the war, and not only at the beginning, but at different stages. The proposition was that if Syria cut its relationship with Iran, the situation in Syria will be normal. This principle is basically rejected by us.

Journalist: So, there were initiatives, so to speak, made in this regard by Saudi Arabia.

President Assad: During the war?

Journalist: Yes.

President Assad: Of course, more than once, and in a clear manner.

Journalist: Directly?

President Assad: Directly. The relationship with Iran was the basis for every proposition; and Saudi Arabia's position on this subject is public. I'm not revealing a secret.

Question 15: An issue is raised, whether in Syria, Iran, or Lebanon, about the nature of Iranian presence in Syria. Some call them Iranian advisors. Even the Syrian Foreign Minister used the same term. At the same time, we notice that there are Iranian martyrs. Frankly, Mr. President, what is the nature of Iranian presence in Syria now?

President Assad: The term adviser is sometimes used in a broad manner, i.e. these advisers have been with us, through the longstanding relationship with Iran, even before the war, because the military relationship is close. When a military formation moves to a fighting position, the adviser becomes a fighter. So, the word can be used in different senses. There are certainly Iranian advisers in Syria, and there are groups of Iranian volunteers who came to Syria, and they are led by Iranian officers. Iran has fought with and defended the Syrian people. It offered blood. That's why when we say "advisers" this is a generic term, but this doesn't mean that we are ashamed of any Iranian presence, even if it is official. But we use the word "advisers" because there are no regular Iranian fighting units in Syria.

Journalist: Full formations.

President Assad: Exactly. There are no battalions, or brigades, or divisions. First, we can't hide them, and then why should we be ashamed of that? When we invited the Russians legally to come to Syria, we were not ashamed of that. And if there were an Iranian formation, we would announce it, because such relations need agreements between the two states endorsed by parliaments. Such relations cannot be concealed.

Journalist: And you invited Iranian advisers to come?

President Assad: Of course, from the beginning we invited the Iranians, and then we invited the Russians. We needed the support of these countries, and they answered the call.

Journalist: Mr. President, you said more than once that there are no Iranian bases in Syria.

President Assad: That's correct.

Journalist: Why there are no Iranian bases, while we notice that there are a number of Russian bases?

President Assad: There's nothing that prevents the existence of such bases as long as Iran is an ally as is Russia.

Journalist: This means that if Iran requested the existence of such bases, you would agree?

President Assad: If we ask. We will ask them to agree. I mean that we could ask for the existence of such forces to support us. Iran has never asked and does not have an interest except in fighting terrorism. But the evolution of the war made it necessary to develop the nature of this presence.

This happened as far as the Russians are concerned. In the beginning, Russian support, like Iranian support, was different from what it is today. The support for terrorism has developed internationally and globally when the Syrian Army confronted those terrorists, and with that Russian and Iranian military presence developed. At a certain stage, we found – with the Russians of course – that the existence of air bases was necessary to provide air support to the Syrian Army. And now, if we find, in cooperation, coordination, or dialogue with the Iranians, that there is a need for Iranian military bases, we will not hesitate. But now, Iranian support in its present form is good and effective.

Question 16: Why haven't you visited Iran so far, although you visited Russia more than once?

President Assad: That's correct. In fact, there was a scheduled visit to Iran a few months ago, and it was postponed and not cancelled. It was postponed because of an emergency in Syria related to the development of battles. There is certainly no reason which prevents such a visit, and I'll visit Iran hopefully soon on the earliest opportunity. This is natural, but the issue is logistic, no more, no less.

Question 17: Mr. President, I move to another file. Last week, it was the Jerusalem International Day, and the Palestinian cause is going through its most difficult stages. We are talking about the "deal of the century", and moving the American Embassy to occupied Jerusalem. What do you have to say about Palestine? Is Syria still capable of supporting the Palestine cause? Basically, wasn't one of the most important objectives of the war on Syria to get Syria out of the axis of resistance and to prevent it from supporting resistance, whether in Lebanon or Palestine?

President Assad: The Palestine context, since 1948 up till now, has been a complicated one, because the regional context is complicated. Of course, it is complicated because the colonial West, which is particularly supportive of Israel, has always created elements which aim at one single thing. First, to drive to desperation the Arab citizen who is historically attached to the cause of Palestine and who has always considered it a pan-Arab cause that touched him even on the national level.

The other objective has been to distract the Arab peoples together with states or societies in general to marginal causes so that they do not have time to think about Israel. And they have succeeded to a great extent, most recently through the so-called Arab spring which has aimed at destroying the political, military, and psychological infrastructure of Arab societies.

Nevertheless, recent development have proven that the Arab people is still conscientiously attached to the cause of Palestine. As for Syria – since it has been part of these plots to undermine the Arab condition in general – first, for Syria to support the cause of Palestine, it should first of all destroy the Israeli army in Syria. Restoring stability in Syria, striking terrorism, and foiling the Israeli plot in Syria is certainly part of supporting the cause of Palestine. The support might be indirect with direct consequences, but these direct consequences are linked to the internal Palestinian condition. We shouldn't forget that the Palestinians are divided between groups which resist Israel and are genuinely linked to the cause of Palestine, and other groups which are against the resistance and support surrenderist and defeatist peace, while there are other groups which use resistance as a title in order to achieve their political objectives under the slogan of religion. This is of course the Muslim Brotherhood's approach.

Question 18: Are you prepared to offer whatever the resistance asks of you, whether in the form of political, military, or any other form of support?

President Assad: Politically, we haven't changed. The Palestinian question for us is still as it was ten years ago and decades ago. It hasn't changed. As to what we can offer, this has to do with two things: first, Syria's current capabilities; and there's no doubt that the priority is given now to cleaning Syria of terrorism. Second, it has to do with the Palestinian condition and the parties with which we can deal within the Palestinian arena.

Question 19: Since we are talking about resistance, there is the other side. In addition to some countries which stood beside Syria in fighting terrorism, there was also a role played by the resistance in Lebanon, particularly Hezbollah, which provided a great deal and contributed to fighting terrorism. What do you say, Mr. President, to resistance fighters and families of martyrs and the wounded?

President Assad: When all these groups of resistance get together to defend Syrian soil and Syrian citizens, including the Lebanese resistance and the brothers who came from Iraq some of whom reproached me for not mentioning them by name, I take this opportunity to stress that there are brothers from Iraq to whom we give the same weight of any resistance fighter who came from any other country.

There are also the families of resistance fighters who came from Iran and sacrificed their blood in Syria. We should put all these in the same basket next to the Syrian martyrs, fighters, and their families. To those I say that all the letters, the words, the sentences, and the whole of literature are much less than a single drop of blood. Therefore, words are of a much lesser value than what they have offered. What's more important is what history will write about them.

In fact, when we talk about writing history, we need to highlight that history needs a strategy and needs tactics, but the fact remains that strategy without implementation on the ground has no value. It remains mere thought which we might include in books and essays. But the reality is that these individuals in these countries, this group of resistance fighters, not politics, write history. I would like to use the answer to this question to express to them all my love, respect, and appreciation, and my reverence to the fighters, the wounded, and martyrs, and to all their families who are courage incarnated and who sent these individuals to Syria to defend it and fight terrorism, so that these families become models of morality and principles for present and future generations.

Question 20: Have you asked Hezbollah to leave Syria? A few days ago His Eminence Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah talked about this issue and said that nobody can get us out of Syria unless the Syrian leadership asked us to do so.

President Assad: The battle is long and ongoing. When we talk about this tripartite alliance – and if we consider it a quadruple alliance when we add Hezbollah, we talk about the tripartite alliance in terms of the states included, but in the end Hezbollah is a basic element in this war – the battle is long, and the need for these military forces will continue for a long time. When there is a need, and when Hezbollah, Iran, or others believe that terrorism has been eliminated, they will tell us that they want to go home. As Sayyed Hasan said, they have families and daily interests, which is normal, but it is still early to talk about this subject.

Question 21: Up till now, there are still areas under the control of terrorism and areas under occupation. At the same time, regretfully, some Arab countries, and here I am talking particularly about Saudi Arabia, announced that it is ready to send forcers to Syria. On the other hand, a few days ago popular tribal units were formed to resist occupation. Are these really popular resistance units? Do they receive support from the Syrian government? Does this mean that the army cannot liberate those areas, and that's why it is asking for the help of the tribes? What is the nature of this issue?

President Assad: There are different forms of this resistance which appeared a few years ago. In the beginning they were fighting ISIS before they started to fight the occupiers. They were against ISIS in the central and eastern regions, and there were cases where they appeared in other regions which were not given media coverage and about which we hear sometimes through information and indications.

Now, this situation has started to expand. So, it's not one single case. There are a number of cases which might be individual sometimes, or in the form of small groups not affiliated to an organization. In any case, our position as a state has been from the beginning to support any act of resistance, whether against terrorists or against occupying forces, regardless of their nationality, i.e. American, French, Turkish, or Israeli. We support these resistance forces based on our national role as a government.

Question 22: What about Saudi Arabia and sending Saudi forces to Syria?

President Assad: First, when we talk about a state, we should assume that such a state can take decisions independently. That's why we will not talk about the role of Saudi Arabia. You better ask me about the American decision on this issue.

Question 23: On the other hand, there are a number of Arab countries which we talk about and which had a role or contributed to the role or to the destruction of Syria. These countries are now trying to get to Syria through the reconstruction process. What do you say in this regard, particularly that these countries are the ones which have capital and huge financial power? How are you going to deal with that?

President Assad: Reconstruction in Syria is not a cause for concern for us. It needs two factors: first, the human factor which is more important than the financial factor. When a country like Syria possesses the human factor, the financial cost will be less when it comes to reconstruction. This is self-evident, and we possess all these factors despite the fact that many competent and qualified Syrians have immigrated because of the war.

But we still have the capability to start reconstruction. And the evidence is clear now, for the state is moving forward and reconstruction has begun. As to money, the Syrian people have financial capabilities, capital, most of which is not in Syria, but outside Syria. But there is capital waiting for reconstruction to begin, so it will begin investing. On the other hand, there are the friendly countries which have capabilities and have the desire; and we have the desire to have them participate in reconstruction, so that they benefit and we Syrians benefit from this process. In the end, we do not need those countries and we will never allow them to be part of reconstruction.

Journalist: Never?

President Assad: Absolutely.

Journalist: Not even if there was a need in this regard, I mean in terms of financial resources?

President Assad: Financial resources are not everything. As I said, this is available. There are different sources in the world and in Syria for capital.

Question 24: With these tough years, we are talking about the legendary steadfastness of the Syrian Army, the Syrian people, the Armed Forces. If you wanted to talk about two cases, the most difficult case or incident that you have encountered during these years, and on the other hand the best and most beautiful case.

President Assad: It is natural, at the heart of the military battle, for the best and worst cases to be linked to the development of the military battle. If I say that the worst cases were when terrorists used to control a certain area, this is self-evident, but it is related more to specific battles, particularly when the area is strategic or the city is big with a large population. Consequently, the impact will be much greater psychologically and in terms of morale.

But there was an ongoing situation which we are still living and we must think about: when a martyr or a group of martyrs fall, and this is ongoing on a weekly basis for us, we must think that a family lost a dear one who cannot be compensated. He might be compensated by achieving victory at a certain stage, but on the family, psychological and human level, you cannot compensate a dear one lost to a certain family, or maybe a friend. This is a very painful situation which we have lived and continue to live. This will not stop until the war itself stops. But there were painful cases at the beginning of the war, when you see this huge lack of patriotism. They were perhaps a minority, but a large minority, of individuals who were prepared to sell the homeland and trade it together with their principles, if they had ones, in return for money or a certain interest, in addition to a certain percentage of extremism.

On the other hand, there were victories, particularly when victories started in the city of al-Qsair in 2013, and culminated in the city of Aleppo in 2016, that was the beginning of the major victories. That was followed by Deir Ezzor, and today we are living the joy of liberating Damascus and its countryside. This is a situation we have all lived through, and you were with us, and I am sure you feel the same joy.

Question 25: Have you felt tired at a certain moment? Have you felt hesitant at a certain moment, in light of all the decisions you have taken, have you ever, even for a moment, thought of leaving? Haven't you said to yourself: let me save my family and resign, as some people did at a certain point in time?

President Assad: This question might be raised in a personal manner. When I am faced with a personal situation as an individual, I might feel despair after a few months. I might feel tired or bored or I might want to move to a different situation, or give up. That is possible.

Journalist: As an individual?

President Assad: Of course, as an individual, but the case you are proposing is not personal, it is national. Imagine yourself in a different condition, perhaps building something on your own. You feel tired, but when you see a large number of people helping you build it and share the same determination, you forget the tiredness.

Now we are in a national situation. We are talking about millions of Syrians. When you see a shell striking and victims falling anywhere in Syria, you feel frustrated. But when you see life being restored to the same area after one hour, your psychological condition changes. When you see that the electricity worker, the oil worker, the teacher, the employee, are moving side by side with fighters, moving without despair and without tiredness, how can you feel tired? This is a collective condition not related to me as a person. It has to do with our human condition when we are together as a society. How do we live? This defines whether you are tired or not. Would the Syrian society have arrived at this stage of despair and surrender, I would certainly have been with it. I would have surrendered because I do not have the necessary elements for steadfastness. This is self-evident.

Journalist: Thank you very much, Mr. President, for giving us this opportunity, and for your candidness in answering these questions. Thank you very much.

[Jun 18, 2018] Real Takeaway The FBI Influenced the Election of a President by Peter Van Buren

In a way we now can talk about Intelligence Industrial complex
Notable quotes:
"... The good news is the Deep State seems less competent than we originally feared. ..."
"... In a damning passage , the 568 page report found it "extraordinary and insubordinate for Comey to conceal his intentions from his superiors for the admitted purpose of preventing them from telling him not to make the statement, and to instruct his subordinates in the FBI to do the same. By departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice." Comey's drafting of a press release announcing no prosecution for Clinton, written before the full investigation was even completed, is given a light touch though in the report, along the lines of roughly preparing for the conclusion based on early indications. ..."
"... Enough: The DOJ Must Show Its Cards to the American Public A Higher Loyalty is Jim Comey's Revenge, Served Lukewarm ..."
"... Attorney General Loretta Lynch is criticized for not being more sensitive to public perceptions when she agreed to meet privately with Bill Clinton aboard an airplane as the FBI investigation into Hillary unfolded. "Lynch's failure to recognize the appearance problem and to take action to cut the visit short was an error in judgment." Her statements later about her decision not to recuse further "created public confusion and didn't adequately address the situation." ..."
"... Page and Strzok also discussed cutting back the number of investigators present for Clinton's in-person interview in light of the fact she might soon be president, and thus their new boss. Someone identified only as Agent One went on to refer to Clinton as "the President" and in a message told a friend "I'm with her." The FBI also allowed Clinton's lawyers to attend her interview, even though they were also witnesses to a possible crimes committed by Clinton. ..."
"... Page and Strzok were among five FBI officials the report found expressed hostility toward Trump and have been referred to the FBI's internal disciple system. The report otherwise makes only wishy-washy recommendations about things every agent should already know, like "adopting a policy addressing the appropriateness of department employees discussing the conduct of uncharged individuals in public statements." ..."
"... In that sense, the IG just poured a can of jet fuel onto the fires of the 2016 election and walked away to watch it burn. ..."
"... One concrete outcome, however, is to weaken a line of prosecution for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The chief Russiagate investigator has just seen a key witness degraded -- any defense lawyer will characterize Comey's testimony as tainted now -- and a possible example of obstruction weakened. ..."
"... The report thus underscores one of the stated reasons for Comey's dismissal. Firing someone for incompetence isn't obstructing justice; it's the boss' job. ..."
"... the most important conclusion of the report: there is no longer a way to claim America's internal intelligence agency, the FBI, did not play a role in the 2016 election. There is only to argue which side they favored and whether they meddled via clumsiness, as a coordinated action, or as a chaotic cluster of competing pro- and anti- Clinton/Trump factions inside the Bureau. And that's the tally before anyone brings up the FBI's use of a human informant inside the Trump campaign, the FBI's use of both FISA warrants and pseudo-legal warrantless surveillance against key members of the Trump team, the FBI's use of opposition research from the Steele Dossier , and so on. ..."
Jun 18, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
June 15, 2018 The good news is the Deep State seems less competent than we originally feared.

It will be easy to miss the most important point amid the partisan bleating over what the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General report on the FBI's Clinton email investigation really means.

While each side will find the evidence they want to find proving the FBI, with James Comey as director, helped/hurt Hillary Clinton and/or maybe Donald Trump, the real takeaway is this: the FBI influenced the election of a president.

In January 2017 the Inspector General for the Department of Justice, Michael Horowitz (who previously worked on the 2012 study of "Fast and Furious"), opened his probe into the FBI's Clinton email investigation, including public statements Comey made at critical moments in the presidential campaign. Horowitz's focus was always to be on how the FBI did its work, not to re-litigate the case against Clinton. Nor did the IG plan to look into anything regarding Russiagate.

In a damning passage , the 568 page report found it "extraordinary and insubordinate for Comey to conceal his intentions from his superiors for the admitted purpose of preventing them from telling him not to make the statement, and to instruct his subordinates in the FBI to do the same. By departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice." Comey's drafting of a press release announcing no prosecution for Clinton, written before the full investigation was even completed, is given a light touch though in the report, along the lines of roughly preparing for the conclusion based on early indications.

Enough: The DOJ Must Show Its Cards to the American Public A Higher Loyalty is Jim Comey's Revenge, Served Lukewarm

Attorney General Loretta Lynch is criticized for not being more sensitive to public perceptions when she agreed to meet privately with Bill Clinton aboard an airplane as the FBI investigation into Hillary unfolded. "Lynch's failure to recognize the appearance problem and to take action to cut the visit short was an error in judgment." Her statements later about her decision not to recuse further "created public confusion and didn't adequately address the situation."

The report also criticizes in depth FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who exchanged texts disparaging Trump before moving from the Clinton email to the Russiagate investigation. Those texts "brought discredit" to the FBI and sowed public doubt about the investigation, including one exchange that read, "Page: "[Trump's] not ever going to become president, right? Strzok: "No. No he's not. We'll stop it." Another Strzok document stated "we know foreign actors obtained access to some Clinton emails, including at least one secret message."

Page and Strzok also discussed cutting back the number of investigators present for Clinton's in-person interview in light of the fact she might soon be president, and thus their new boss. Someone identified only as Agent One went on to refer to Clinton as "the President" and in a message told a friend "I'm with her." The FBI also allowed Clinton's lawyers to attend her interview, even though they were also witnesses to a possible crimes committed by Clinton.

Page and Strzok were among five FBI officials the report found expressed hostility toward Trump and have been referred to the FBI's internal disciple system. The report otherwise makes only wishy-washy recommendations about things every agent should already know, like "adopting a policy addressing the appropriateness of department employees discussing the conduct of uncharged individuals in public statements."

But at the end of it all, the details really don't matter, because the report broadly found no political bias, no purposeful efforts or strategy to sway the election. In aviation disaster terms, it was all pilot error. Like an accident of sorts, as opposed to the pilot boarding drunk, but the plane crashed and killed 300 people either way.

The report is already being welcomed by Democrats -- who feel Comey shattered Clinton's chances of winning the election by reopening the email probe just days before the election -- and by Republicans, who feel Comey let Clinton off easy. Many are now celebrating it was only gross incompetence, unethical behavior, serial bad judgment, and insubordination that led the FBI to help determine the election. No Constitutional crisis.

A lot of details in those 568 pages to yet fully parse, but at first glance there is not much worthy of prosecution (though Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will review the report for possible prosecutions and IG Horowitz will testify in front of Congress on Monday and may reveal more information.) Each side will point to the IG's conclusion of "no bias" to shut down calls for this or that in a tsunami of blaming each other. In that sense, the IG just poured a can of jet fuel onto the fires of the 2016 election and walked away to watch it burn.

One concrete outcome, however, is to weaken a line of prosecution for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The chief Russiagate investigator has just seen a key witness degraded -- any defense lawyer will characterize Comey's testimony as tainted now -- and a possible example of obstruction weakened. As justification for firing Comey, the White House initially pointed to an earlier Justice Department memo criticizing Comey for many of the same actions now highlighted by the IG (Trump later added concerns about the handling of Russiagate.) The report thus underscores one of the stated reasons for Comey's dismissal. Firing someone for incompetence isn't obstructing justice; it's the boss' job.

It will be too easy, however, to miss the most important conclusion of the report: there is no longer a way to claim America's internal intelligence agency, the FBI, did not play a role in the 2016 election. There is only to argue which side they favored and whether they meddled via clumsiness, as a coordinated action, or as a chaotic cluster of competing pro- and anti- Clinton/Trump factions inside the Bureau. And that's the tally before anyone brings up the FBI's use of a human informant inside the Trump campaign, the FBI's use of both FISA warrants and pseudo-legal warrantless surveillance against key members of the Trump team, the FBI's use of opposition research from the Steele Dossier , and so on.

The good news is the Deep State seems less competent than we originally feared. But even if one fully accepts the IG report's conclusion that all this -- and there's a lot -- was not intentional, at a minimum it makes clear to those watching ahead of 2020 what tools are available and the impact they can have. While we continue to look for the bad guy abroad, we have already met the enemy and he is us.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well : How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People and Hooper's War : A Novel of WWII Japan. Follow him on Twitter @WeMeantWell .

[Jun 18, 2018] The next year the strategic position of Ukraine might get worse

Jun 18, 2018 | www.unz.com

Beckow , June 16, 2018 at 12:24 am GMT

If Kiev wants to attack Donbas they better hurry. After World Cup, and definitely next year when the pipelines bypassing Ukraine will be ready, Ukraine's strategic situation will get worse. We are in a transition phase: sh..t happened in 2013-15 that is impossible to undo, but there were fortunately constraints on all sides that prevented a meltdown. In a year or two most of those constraints will be gone.

Saker is correct that EU countries will not work with Russia. Blaming it all on Washington was always stupid – there are forces in Europe, in all countries, who want a confrontation with Russia. Any event, real or fake, will be used to escalate. West cannot lose this one without another fight. And if they sit on their hands, they will eventually lose with a disillusioned Ukraine and slowly disintegrating EU. Populist energy needs to be re-directed eastward, and for that a more aggressive policy is required. This is not pessimism, there simply is no way for EU elite to climb down. How could UK make up with Russia without looking like complete idiots? Or Macron and Merkel? The hostility is at this point inherent in the situation – what started out as a badly thought-out attempt to get some quick goodies (bases in Crimea, Nato expansion, sell weapons) has evolved into a real death spiral.

We are one Franz Ferdinand moment away from a catastrophe. Let's enjoy the games while we still can. Trump knows this, so he is trying desperately to organize a summit or send some messages of conciliation. But he is powerless and it might be too late for that. Hubris never dissipates, it requires a disaster and an elite turnover to cure hubris.

Mattheus , June 16, 2018 at 2:06 pm GMT
Saker is once again completely wrong. His theories fall short to explain lots of real events. He got hooked on his "Anglo-Zionist" theory and "one Hegemon", which is far from explaining the reality on the ground. There is no one single hegemon, but two powerful interest groups in the west. One of the power centers is dominated by the Rothschilds from the City of London and the other ruled by the Rockerfellers which is based in the US.
The powers described above are sometimes working in collusion but sometimes work against each other (They were in collusion during the Soviet Afghan war for instance). Currently, we don't see a collusion but a war being waged in between these two groups. I think it is highly self evident, so much so that it is happening almost all in the open. In the modern history we haven't witnessed such a openly fought war ever before (between these two powers). All is at stake and the war in between these two is vicious. Thus you can explain Trump's attitude towards EU, everlasting character assasination of Trump by certain opposing circles in the US, high level resignations, the state of confusion of Nato and much more. If this theory is right (and I think it is much more viable than any other theory that I came across in the Alt-Med), this makes Russia firmly embedded into one of the camps. Unfortunately, the position that Russia took makes him not a sovereign power but on contrary puts him into a subservient role. The late actions of Russia, especially in Syria, is quite telling. I know people who admire Russia get quite frustrated when they hear such a scenario and outcome, but this is possibly the only way Putin believes that Russia can survive. Thus it explains his latest house clean-up of Euroasian integrists. Even worse, if you believe in this scenario, it brings Russia and China against each other especially in the long run. This scenario also put a full stop to the idealist Euroasian multi-polar world order.
Here is the link to an older video in Russian with English subtitles. The guy's name is Andrei Fursov and he has some interesting things to say regarding this subject. This interview was just before Obama was elected but is still quite relevent. His newer videos seems to have lost steam, possibly because he is working for some state connected Russian institutions and think-thanks and thus I think he is somewhat restricted. After all it is again the famous "Game Theory", isn't it?
byrresheim , June 16, 2018 at 6:39 pm GMT
As long as the Author keeps talking about Ukronazis, we know that he is not at all prepared to see any problems on the Russian side at all.

Which serves devalue his argument, even if there are a lot of valid points otherwise.

Beckow , June 17, 2018 at 1:39 am GMT
@Philip Owen

I don't think you realize that armies need supplies. To break into Donbas cities would be hard enough, but to re-supply them would be impossible. Civilians would mostly evacuate, so there would be little to 'hide in'. Kiev cannot win militarily as long as Russia opposes it. Russia can always blast their bases from air, or with missiles. Don't kid yourself, if Russia has the will, they will prevail.

Since you mentioned 2014, there was a perfect opportunity for Maidanistas to avoid this. All they had to do was to be friendly and accommodating to its Russian minority. Offer them autonomy, re-assure them, promise that trade and ties with Russia would continue. Kiev did the exact opposite, an extremely bad tactic. US kept on telling them to cool it, that one doesn't win by attacking before ready. But in Kiev emotions prevailed, and so we are where we are.

Sooner or later a more accommodating government in Kiev will try the 'let bygones be bygones' tactic on Russia. If we are lucky enough to make it that far.

[Jun 17, 2018] Mattis Putin Is Trying To Undermine America s Moral Authority by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
The current anti-Russian hysteria is the attempt to unite the society which become hostile to neoliberal elite.
Notable quotes:
"... A casual glance at facts and history makes it instantly clear that the United States has no "moral authority" of any kind whatsoever, and is arguably the hub of the most pernicious and dangerous force ever assembled in human history. But the establishment Russia narrative really is that cartoonishly ridiculous: you really do have to believe that the US government is 100 percent pure good and the Russian government is 100 percent pure evil to prevent the whole narrative from falling to pieces. ..."
"... In reality, Russia is nothing other than a rival power structure that the US-centralized empire wants to either collapse or absorb, but they can't just come right out and tell the public that they're dangerously escalating tensions with a nuclear superpower because westerners live in an invisible empire ruled by insatiably greedy plutocrats, so they make up nonsense about Putin being some kind of omnipotent supervillain who has infiltrated the highest levels of US government and is trying to take over the world. ..."
"... All this new cold war hysteria and nuclear brinkmanship has basically been America acting like a bitchy high school drama queen because Russia is saying mean things about it behind its back? How does a guy named "Mad Dog" get to be such a thin-skinned little snowflake? ..."
"... As we've been discussing a lot recently, control of the narrative is absolutely essential for rulers to maintain their rule. When you hear establishment policy makers babbling about "Russian propaganda" and Putin's attempts to "undercut and compromise our belief in our ideals," all that they are saying is that the plutocrats who rule America need to be able to control the way Americans think and vote, and that the Russian government is making it a bit harder for them to do that. ..."
"... It seems to be that every criticism leveled at Russia, and China even, is a simple reflection of what the USA is doing. Deflection. Classic 'pot calling the kettle black' stuff. ..."
"... You're paying more respect to it than it deserves by giving it a clinical diagnosis, implying "projection" as a psychological defense. Let's call it by its simple name: dirty rotten lying, propaganda, trickery. It's not like the assholes don't know they are lying – of course they do! And they know we know it, too, and don't care. ..."
Jun 17, 2018 | caitlinjohnstone.com

At a graduation ceremony for the US Naval War College (barf), US Secretary of Defense James Mattis asserted that Russian President Vladimir Putin "aims to diminish the appeal of the western democratic model and attempts to undermine America's moral authority," and that "his actions are designed not to challenge our arms at this point but to undercut and compromise our belief in our ideals."

This would be the same James Mattis who's been overseeing the war crime s committed by America's armed forces during their illegal occupation of Syria. This would be the same United States of America that was born of the genocide of indigenous tribes and the labor of African slaves, which slaughtered millions in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, Libya and Syria for no legitimate reason, which is partnered with Ukrainian Nazis , jihadist factions in Syria and Iranian terror cultists , which supports 73 percent of the world's dictators , which interferes constantly in the electoral processes of other countries as a matter of policy, which stages coups around the world , which has encircled the globe with military bases , whose FBI still targets black civil rights activists for persecution to this very day , which routinely enters into undeclared wars of aggression against noncompliant governments to advance plutocratic interests , which remains the only country ever to use nuclear weapons on human beings after doing so completely needlessly in Japan, and which is functionally a corporatist oligarchy with no meaningful "democratic model" in place at all .

https://www.youtube.com/embed/8JdurtVYp2E

A casual glance at facts and history makes it instantly clear that the United States has no "moral authority" of any kind whatsoever, and is arguably the hub of the most pernicious and dangerous force ever assembled in human history. But the establishment Russia narrative really is that cartoonishly ridiculous: you really do have to believe that the US government is 100 percent pure good and the Russian government is 100 percent pure evil to prevent the whole narrative from falling to pieces. If you accept the idea that the exchange is anything close to 50/50, with Russia giving back more or less what it's getting and simply protecting its own interests from the interests of geopolitical rivals, it no longer makes any sense to view Putin as a leader who poses a unique threat to the world. If you accept the idea that the west is actually being far more aggressive and antagonistic toward Russia than Russia is being toward the west, it gets even more laughable.

In order to believe that the US has anything resembling "moral authority" you have to shove your head so far into the sand you get lava burns, but that really is what is needed to keep western anti-Russia hysteria going. None of the things the Russian government has been accused of doing (let alone the very legitimate questions about whether or not they even did all of them) merit anything but an indifferent shrug when compared with the unforgivable evils that America's unelected power establishment has been inflicting upon the world, so they need to weave a narrative about "moral authority" in order to give those accusations meaning and relevance. And, since the notion of America having moral authority is contradicted by all facts in evidence, that narrative is necessarily woven of threads of fantasy and denial.

Establishment anti-Russia hysteria is all narrative, no substance. It's sustained by the talking heads of plutocrat-owned western media making the same unanimous assertions over and over again in authoritative, confident-sounding tones of voice without presenting any evidence or engaging with the reality of what Russia or its rivals are actually doing. The only reason American liberals believe that Putin is a dangerous boogieman who has taken over their government, but don't believe for example that America is ruled by a baby-eating pedophile cabal, is because the Jake Tappers and Rachel Maddows have told them to believe one conspiracy theory and not the other. They could have employed the exact same strategy with any other wholly unsubstantiated conspiracy narrative and had just as much success.

In reality, Russia is nothing other than a rival power structure that the US-centralized empire wants to either collapse or absorb, but they can't just come right out and tell the public that they're dangerously escalating tensions with a nuclear superpower because westerners live in an invisible empire ruled by insatiably greedy plutocrats, so they make up nonsense about Putin being some kind of omnipotent supervillain who has infiltrated the highest levels of US government and is trying to take over the world.

Of equal interest to the Defense Secretary's "moral authority" gibberish is his claim that Putin's actions "are designed not to challenge our arms at this point but to undercut and compromise our belief in our ideals."

I mean, like what? So Russia isn't challenging America militarily and isn't taking any actions to attempt to, but it's trying to, what, hurt America's feelings? All this new cold war hysteria and nuclear brinkmanship has basically been America acting like a bitchy high school drama queen because Russia is saying mean things about it behind its back? How does a guy named "Mad Dog" get to be such a thin-skinned little snowflake?

I'm just playing. Actually, when Mattis says that the Russian government is trying to "undercut and compromise our belief in our ideals," he is saying that Moscow is interrupting the lies that Americans are being told about their government by the plutocrat-owned media. As we've been discussing a lot recently, control of the narrative is absolutely essential for rulers to maintain their rule. When you hear establishment policy makers babbling about "Russian propaganda" and Putin's attempts to "undercut and compromise our belief in our ideals," all that they are saying is that the plutocrats who rule America need to be able to control the way Americans think and vote, and that the Russian government is making it a bit harder for them to do that.

More and more, the threads of the establishment narrative are ceasing to be unconsciously absorbed and are being increasingly consciously examined instead. This development has ultimately nothing to do with Russia and everything to do with our species moving out of its old relationship with mental narrative as it approaches evolve-or-die time in our challenging new world. I am greatly encouraged by what I am seeing.

* * *

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Harry S Nydick / June 17, 2018

This is so right on that it is scary. The only problem, while more are questioning, is the fact that the majority of Americans actually believe the bullshit that people like Mattis says. And, with a nickname like Mad Dog, it's a wonder that he hasn't been put down yet.

Even today I had to deal with a typical American – 'swallow-it-hook-line-and-sinker' – idiot.

"The stock market is honest and above board.' 'All immigrants don't belong here.' 'It's fine if the government violates your civil rights' 'Oh and immigrants don't have any.'

I could go on, but I learned long ago to say my piece and move on. For some people, there is no changing their minds, nor even opening them up to considering the truth. There are the descendants of those who were protested against in the 1960s. The 'My country right or wrong' people. Most likely they never had the balls, as children, to speak back to their parents, when those adults were in the wrong. I always wondered whether intellectual blindness is a learned trait. I'm pretty sure that it must be.

William / June 17, 2018
Much or most of what you write about the American narrative is true. However, you weave it into a narrative that ignores central historical facts and themes. Examples; Russia's behavior in Poland after WW2, the Hungarian revolution, the Check invasion and oppression, the take over of Manchuria in the last weeks of WW2.

Stalin killing 20-40 million of his own people, Chechnya, the Korean war, the Berlin wall. Not to mention recent assassinations of its own citizens. Yes, America has done cruel and horrific things in many countries, but it pales to what the Russians have done throughout the ages. It would be akin to comparing what the Nazis did to what the French underground did in response. Both killed, both did things that were horrific, but the French did it in response and not nearly in the same magnitude. Historical contrast is very important when viewing these issues. It is very easy to criticize one's own country but balance is called for. Was Russia justified in taking Crimea, perhaps, but then was Hitler justified in taking the Sudetenland?

JRGJRG / June 17, 2018
What Lee Yates just did there is a beautiful example of Advantageous Comparison defense in Bandera's Moral Disengagement Theory. Yes, the US is morally bankrupt, but so what? The Soviets or Hitler or somebody else was worse. Sorry, that is bullshit.

What did the US overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran have to do with the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia? Nothing. And he brings up Russian Crimea, which voted 95% to rejoin Russia, an example of democracy in action.

william / June 17, 2018
The so what is this: when dealing with monsters one has to stoop as low to defend against it. What happened in Iran was Brittain's provocation. They approached Eisenhower once previously and he refused to intervene. It was only after they convinced him that it was a Russian plot to take over the oil fields that he relented. So yes it was wrong and even monstrous but put in the historical perspective at the time, it made sense. At that time, France was in danger of collapsing and with it the rest of Europe. I am of Middle Eastern ethnicity so I too am sensitive to Western colonialization of the region. However, things are not always as simple as we would like them to be.
I really enjoy when people lower themselves to using vulgarities because they disagree with a point of view-most flattering and intelligent.
JRGJRG / June 17, 2018
Just more evasive moral disengagement. So the Dulles boys finally duped Ike into giving the green light to the overthrow of democratically elected Mossadegh installing a bloodthirsty tyrant that ended up destabilizing the Middle East for the next 50years and running, based on the pretext of Russia hysteria.

Was it true the Russians were really going to take over the oilfields? I never heard that story before. I doubt it very much. History teaches a different lesson. Mossadegh had the temerity to want to share oil profits with the Iranian people who owned it. Thats too much democracy for any country.

Just like Truman was tricked into Korea. Or Johnson was duped into Vietnam.

And so how do you explain why the CIA overthrew Arbenz in Guatemala beginning a reign of terror with genocude lasting 50 years against unarmed peasant villages? East Timor? Chile? Brazil and Argentina? Greece? Angola?

This is just more Advantageous Comparison to justify moral bankruptcy. Sorry, sometimes things are as simple as they look.

No I respectfully disagree. If these seem like difficult moral choices to you, I pity you.

JRGJRG / June 17, 2018
Although I must apologize for not recognizing your rank as a cut above the usual G-7 troll with your knowledge of the advanced techniques of argument for moral disengagement, defending your country against the indefensible. Tough job that calls for an expert.

You must be one of those G-12 trolls called to fill in for overtime duty on fathers day. I'm sorry your wife and kids are going to be missing you today. You can make it up to them tomorrow.

William / June 18, 2018
Funny thing, I agree that the overthrow was wrong, and horrible. I also think it was wrong and perhaps criminal when we invaded both Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of my relatives were killed by tyrants in the Middle East and much of what has happened there is ugly. But again, I do not stoop to personal disparagement. It has no place in honest debate. Same tactic used by the deplorable . Trump and McCarthy for that matter, and of course, now you. As for Mossadegh, he was truly a statesman. England owned the oil fields and he went to the UN to mediate the purchase of the oil fields at market value. The English refused and tried to convince Eisenhower that it was a Russian plot. He tried again and finally Eisenhower relented, wrongly I might add. But do remember, that Eisenhower also stopped the English and French when they wanted to invade Egypt to take over the Suez.
Lee Yates / June 17, 2018
Thank You, JRGJRG. I did not know that I knew that much philosophy. What I said was more in light of current events circa the 1990s. Our "bankers" went to Russia and "helped" them get capitalism. Well they got it, and now their gangsters/bankers are just as wealthy and sophisticated as ours, or more so. Politically, I cannot really blame Putin for holding a grudge about our meddling in Russia and general promotion of Boris Yeltsin. Still I doubt that he would make it easy for us to install another Yeltsin or buy all of Russia's resources either, so why would we make it easy for him to meddle in our country, or do what we do overseas?
jrgjrg / June 17, 2018
This is what you're doing, even if you don't recognize it. If you understand this you will begin to understand the errors of your own ways. This is how totalitarianship develops. Read and learn.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_disengagement

Harry S Nydick / June 17, 2018
Take off the blinders and fully explain how the U.S. genocide of native Americans – and the ongoing horrific treatment of them – pales in comparison to anything except, possibly, the unnecessary dropping of two nuclear bombs on Japan.

Sorry, but your dissertation of an excuse just doesn't cut the mustard – or maybe your mother never told you that two wrongs don't make a right. Or in the case of the U.S., dozens of never ending wrongs. Unless you really open your eyes and mind and understand the truth, you will never come off as anything more than an apologist for the top 1/10th of the top 1%.

Harry S Nydick / June 17, 2018
This was a reply to William, but comes off looking as an original comment and criticism of Caity, with whom I am in complete agreement on todays article.
jrgjrg / June 18, 2018
Not just the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan, but remember that Gen. LeMay firebombed every city in Japan before the bombs were dropped, causing at least another half million deaths. Robert MacNamara said in an interview that if the US had lost the Second World War they both would have been tried as war criminals, and it would be right. See:

https://player.vimeo.com/video/149799416

AriusArmenian / June 17, 2018
Always impressed by Caitlin driving a bulldozer through lying narratives. We need more Caitlin's; we need an antiwar mass movement of Caitlin's. But the antiwar movement is very weak and it is divided against itself.

In the 1990's there was a coming together of the Chronicles paleoconservatives and the CounterPunch progressives against the US/NATO attack on Yugoslavia. But today Thomas Fleming and Chronicles have retreated and those controlling CounterPunch have explicitly rejected an alliance with the 'right' against the US march to war.

I wish I could share the Caitlin enthusiasm for the future but I am depressed and fearful for the future. The US public is asleep. The US is gearing up for war in Europe and Asia. Starting with Clinton each president has murdered about a million souls. They are gearing up for a bigger war in the MENA and even Eastern Europe with Iran as the major target and will likely claim another million+.

From Jungian psychology I learned that unless the opposites come close together change (a birth out of the tyranny of the status quo) will not happen. The elites in control of the US use the fake dialectic of the major two parties to keep us apart. Those in charge of each pole of the fake dialectic derive power from defending it against the 'other' and see alliance with the 'other' as a diminution of their power (a good example is those in control of CounterPunch arguing against antiwar alliance with the 'right'; that they are captured by their power drive is plain to see).

Liberals (neolibs) and many progressives have walked straight into a trap set by the CIA that engineered a Cold War v2. They knew the neocons would come along. The CIA, Wall Street, military, NSA are marching to war. They thirst for their holy war. They are the supremacist 'exceptional and indispensable' while the rest of the world is unexceptional and dispensable.

If the left and right do not come together in an antiwar alliance then how can the warmongering trajectory of the US change?

geoffreyskoll / June 17, 2018
It's just like you, Caitlin, to bring up such quibbles as genocide, slavery, torture, and a few others too minor to even mention. We're talking IDEALS here. You know like complete global domination, slavish catering to the most exploitive class in human history–the stuff that makes America great!
Lee Yates / June 17, 2018
I agree that the U.S. is Imperialist and has been for a long time. However, it is false that Russia opposes the US kleptocracy or represents anything other than the same bankster/gangsters that run the West. They came into the fold after the end of the Soviet Union, and there they remain, probably not too happy about it, but neither are we right. The elites from all over launder money, hide wealth enjoy power and luxury beyond our imagination. A small spat between them is death sentence for the rest of us, but they will make up and enjoy their stolen wealth again.

The moral authority that the West or USA enjoys is a hollow thing, much like Christianity at the height of the Church's power. But the words are still there maybe some day a true believer will come along and do something about them.

ger / June 17, 2018
Forgive me, I could not get beyond the 'undermine America's moral authority'. I take it, Mattis means the 'moral authority' to starve the Yemenis to death and deny them medicine while they are dying . aided by our French Poodle and a mad woman from the Isles! Or maybe the 'moral authority' of Albright when she said killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children 'was worth it'. Or maybe it was 'moral authority' of Clinton, giggling over the sadist murder of Kaddafi. Some how, as an American I don't feel 'moral authority' , all I feel is the pain of inhumanity.
jrgjrg / June 17, 2018
No, no, no, you're still not getting it. Let me explain it to you. It means the authority of the autocrats to determine what's moral for you. They themselves are above morality, like Nietzsche taught, remember? Authoritarianism.

Now do you understand?

elkojohn / June 17, 2018
As was hinted at by the FBI-IG report, neither political party in the criminal U.S. government is complying with law (domestic nor international). The U.S. government system is an organized crime syndicate of liars, thieves and murders. The ruling class and the inside players of the secret government consider the common folk to be deplorable, trailer-park trash.

That's the mind-set of the "holier-than-thou" professionals working inside the U.S. government. Whatever trust, loyalty and respect citizens had for this government has been completely squandered – and voters (not Putin) gave the FU finger to the status quo by electing Trump.

The treasonous, seditious, murdering 2-party dictatorship has absolutely NO ONE to blame but themselves. The time has come to eliminate and defund the secret espionage agencies that run our government, – and which have morphed into crime syndicates. Ditto the two political parties. Until we see all the top level law-breakers in jail (i.e., Clinton, Bush, Obama), until we witness 2/3's of the House and the Senate being purged and replaced, until we witness the complete dismantling of the FED, until we witness ALL military bases around the world being closed and our troops brought home, until we witness the M-I-C's budget cut down to 1/4th and used ONLY for national protection, until we witness a purge of the CIA/FBI cartel, until we witness manufacturing being restored to this country, until we witness the USA cutting all special interest lobbying (in particular, Israel and Saudi Arabia), until we witness the break-up of the death grip that Wall St. and the banking monopoly has on our economy, until we witness the full restoration of the "rule of law" in our government, – until then, it will be the absolute, open, in-your-face, tyrannical, 24/7, lawlessness of the U.S. government that destroys this nation.

So I disagree with James Mattis, that the U.S. holds the moral high ground.

jrgjrg / June 17, 2018
You're paying more respect to it than it deserves by giving it a clinical diagnosis, implying "projection" as a psychological defense. Let's call it by its simple name: dirty rotten lying, propaganda, trickery. They're playing the "I'm rubber and you're glue" game. It's not like the assholes don't know they are lying – of course they do! And they know we know it, too, and don't care.
WillD / June 17, 2018
Mattis didn't realise how well he described Trump. When you look at what Trump's regime has done since taking office last year, it 'trumps' [pun intended] Putin's efforts, such as they are, by a mile. Putin could never hope to achieve so much in such a short time, if that's what he wanted to do.

It seems to be that every criticism leveled at Russia, and China even, is a simple reflection of what the USA is doing. Deflection. Classic 'pot calling the kettle black' stuff.

All one has to do is change a few names in the narrative – replace Putin with Trump, Russia / China with USA. That's it. Easy.

jrgjrg / June 17, 2018
You're paying more respect to it than it deserves by giving it a clinical diagnosis, implying "projection" as a psychological defense. Let's call it by its simple name: dirty rotten lying, propaganda, trickery. It's not like the assholes don't know they are lying – of course they do! And they know we know it, too, and don't care.
WillD / June 17, 2018
No, you misunderstood what I was saying. I'm not saying he/they use it as a defense, but that they don't realize how close it is to what it (the USA) is doing.

Believe me, I have no respect for Mattis & that mob, nor Putin for that matter. None of them deserve respect.

I agree with you on the dirty rotten lying, too. They do know they are lying, but don't know how close to the truth it is when applied to them.

jrgjrg / June 17, 2018
No worries. We are in the "post-truth era." That sounds crazy, I know. The plutocrats are discussing this exact topic this year at the Bilderberg Conference.

[Jun 17, 2018] As for Putin, it could be, that he is, for now, on a footing of equal to the insiders of above, he must somehow understand (Putin gives a public impression to be cognitively superior to all other political tarts of the moment) that real problems are global

Jun 17, 2018 | www.unz.com

m___ , June 17, 2018 at 9:24 am GMT

@mikkkkas

Dramatic shift in analysis of Saker,

As yours truly, we noticed the drastic shift as to pointing to supranational guidance of international political events. As for his mention, blaming Trump and Netanyahu to be suppreme leaders and deciders, we see them rather as spokespersons, blowing and hissing publicly the script of what Saker calls the Anglo-Jewish maffia, the only subgroup that sorted for quality, not quantity in strategy(global evidently and necessarily) and membership for in-group only benefit. Elitist, subjectively better organized than any entity other, territorially mostly independent in case of emergency, and moral conviction based on historical Judaist values, strategies and tactics. Play all sides and stay invisible.

Below the prudent lines of Saker quoted.

The AngloZionist Empire is not based in the US, or in the EU, or Israel, or anywhere else on the planet. It is a trans-national entity with regional variations and which includes different interest groups under its umbrella. You can think of it as a gigantic criminal gang racketeering the entire planet for "protection". To think that by presenting a "liberal" face to these thugs will gain you their support is extremely naive as these guys don't care about your face: what they want is your submission.

As for Putin, it could be, that he is, for now, on a footing of equal to the insiders of above, he must somehow understand (Putin gives a public impression to be cognitively superior to all other political tarts of the moment) that real problems are global, and Russian nationalism, or international expansion based on Russian nationalism are just a political tool to rally bulk humanity. Very similar to the palm oil, corn syrup and digital porn obese consumerism of the West promotion. At most bickering and infighting can be done by visible actors as Putin, Trump, Xi (affected indirectly), but there must be a scenario, and war cannot be anything more then policing.

To be noticed, that it pleads for Saker's intellectualism to correct and even reverse, after due analysis his opinions unlike a Tom Engelhardt(at that qualitative rather inferior). No "to big to fail" here. Let's wait and see, how Saker's intuition can take him into quantitative analysis of what moves beyond and against nationalist and EU, US, Russia, China dialectics. The old adagio of the information age: networks, was historically present in International Jewry. One can be a policeman, be a thief, but foremost one is a Jew.

Honest writing of Saker.

How good are these supranational, corporatacracy (another commenter), "globally organized elites" groups with better cohesion? To our definite impression, not good enough, though way above the bulk of humanity and most of the middle class media comprehension. Two singular dramas of our age, that will decide the twenty-first century. Better and not good enough. Only to be arrested by bringing in AI, eugenetics, rebranding goals and focus. It is in itself a pocket drama repeated over and over that analysis is mostly litterary, never relies on the best of information, is fragmented. Even today indexing big data lumps could solve this partly. Alternative media in the first place apply the same archaic methods while better tools are available. That said unz.com is above the fray in focussing and searching methods. It should spark some hidden outliers glued into the bulk of the deplorables by individual fate.

War-ing and economics, the epistomology of politics, the focus of daily news, should be seen as consequences, not prime causes of attention. In the end they impose toxicity, migrations, excess population densities, excess total human numbers. The goal itself of humanity should be reasserted as quality of life for all standing and future humans. Then strategy and tactics derive from there. Why? Well the same supra national elites, the only ones that can take on the essentials tend to forget they are frogging in the same tub, that nature probably using more disruptive method will take care of the human plague if not.

[Jun 17, 2018] Optimism Caitlin Johnstone

Notable quotes:
"... The Rachel Maddow Show ..."
Jun 17, 2018 | caitlinjohnstone.com

I'm not sure how far up the military-industrial complex's ass one's head needs to be to think that one single step toward peace is a gigantic take-all-the-chips win for the impoverished North Korea, but many of Trump's political enemies are taking it even further.

Senate Democrats have introduced a bill to make it more difficult for Trump to withdraw US troops from South Korea, because while you can always count on Capitol Hill to make it incredibly easy for a president to deploy military personnel around the globe, giving that same office the power to bring troops home is a completely different matter.

Surprising no one, MSNBC's cartoon children's program The Rachel Maddow Show took home the trophy for jaw-dropping, shark-jumping ridiculousness with an eighteen-minute Alex Jones impression claiming that the chief architect of the Korean negotiations was none other than (and if you can't guess whose name I'm going to write once we get out of these parentheses I deeply envy your ignorance on this matter) Vladimir Putin.

[Jun 17, 2018] the dominant political forces in EU are anti-Russia

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There is a strong, EU domestic anti-Russian population based on hundreds of years of history, resentment over losses (Germany, Poland, Sweden, Finland), self-brainwashing about perceived abuse (Poland, Baltics, eastern Europeans in general), hatred and contempt towards anything 'eastern', and the traditional anglo anti-Russian policies. Recently new emotional hatreds have been added with endless demonising Russia about xenophobia, hooligans, gays, stray dogs, anything the creative propagandists can push. Most Europeans turn out on reflection to be quite gullible and stupid. ..."
"... There are a few minor exceptions and some Latin nations are more level headed. There is also a minority view in the German world, mostly based on their business realism that is neutral toward Russia, but not pro-Russian. There will be no political rapprochement between EU and Russia. There will be better business relations because water flows downhill and EU-Russia economic ties are such an obvious fit. The cultural hatred and political hostility will go on. ..."
"... After WWII it took most Europeans less than a generation to revert to the traditional anti-Russian attitudes. In some cases, nations that were literally saved from extermination were more resentful than grateful. In Poland it took less than a year, in Czech Republic 20 years, but the old visceral hatreds emerged again. ..."
Jun 17, 2018 | www.unz.com

renfro

Saker is correct that EU countries will not work with Russia. Blaming it all on Washington was always stupid
Bullshit. ...try to keep up with whats actually happening.

U.S. Is Trying to Kill Major Gas Deal Between Russia and Germany
By Tom O'Connor On 5/18/18 at 2:41 PM
http://www.newsweek.com/us-trying-kill-major-gas-deal-between-russia-germany-934603

The U.S. has warned both Russia and Germany against pursuing a planned gas pipeline that would run between the two countries, threatening to impose sanctions and claiming the project would threaten the security of its European allies.

Construction has recently begun for the Nord Stream 2 project, a planned pipeline that would extend from Russia along an existing pipeline through the Baltic Sea into northeastern Germany. Once finished, Nord Stream 2 would reportedly double the amount of gas that Russia could provide Europe. State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Sandra Oudkirk told reporters in Berlin Thursday that the project could bolster Russia's "malign influence" in the region and that Washington was "exerting as much persuasive power" as it could to stop it, according to the Associated Press.

Europe in diplomatic push to ease Russia sanctions | Financial Times

https://www.ft.com/content/9b9bbd3c-44a5-11e8-93cf-67ac3a6482fdApr 20, 2018 - A Europe-wide diplomatic push is under way to persuade the Trump administration to ease US sanctions targeting Russia, as fears mount that ...

Beckow , June 17, 2018 at 6:01 pm GMT

We are talking apples and oranges. EU wants cheap, reliable energy from Russia and to export to Russia as much as possible without interference from US. That is pure business. But the dominant political forces in EU are anti-Russia, some because they are fed by the security-military-academic spending, some because they 'studied' and were politically formed in US or UK. Some because that's just the way they are.

There is a strong, EU domestic anti-Russian population based on hundreds of years of history, resentment over losses (Germany, Poland, Sweden, Finland), self-brainwashing about perceived abuse (Poland, Baltics, eastern Europeans in general), hatred and contempt towards anything 'eastern', and the traditional anglo anti-Russian policies. Recently new emotional hatreds have been added with endless demonising Russia about xenophobia, hooligans, gays, stray dogs, anything the creative propagandists can push. Most Europeans turn out on reflection to be quite gullible and stupid.

There are a few minor exceptions and some Latin nations are more level headed. There is also a minority view in the German world, mostly based on their business realism that is neutral toward Russia, but not pro-Russian. There will be no political rapprochement between EU and Russia. There will be better business relations because water flows downhill and EU-Russia economic ties are such an obvious fit. The cultural hatred and political hostility will go on.

After WWII it took most Europeans less than a generation to revert to the traditional anti-Russian attitudes. In some cases, nations that were literally saved from extermination were more resentful than grateful. In Poland it took less than a year, in Czech Republic 20 years, but the old visceral hatreds emerged again.

My advise to Russia would be to mind its own business and not try to sacrifice for the others or to help them. It has always backfired because the cultural milieu in Europe is naturally resentful of Russia and the east in general. Business doesn't change that.

[Jun 17, 2018] The Necessity of a Trump-Putin Summit by Stephen F. Cohen

Highly recommended!
Decimation of anti-war forces and flourishing of Russophobia are two immanent features of the US neoliberalism. As long as the maintinace fo the US global neoliberal empire depends of weakening and, possibly, dismembering Russia it is naive to expect any change. Russian version of soft "national neoliberalism" is not that different, in principle form Trump version of hard "netional neoliberalism" so those leaders might have something to talk about. In other words as soon as the USA denounce neoliberal globalization that might be some openings.
Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
Jun 06, 2018 | www.thenation.com

Ten ways the new US-Russian Cold War is increasingly becoming more dangerous than the one we survived.

  1. The political epicenter of the new Cold War is not in far-away Berlin, as it was from the late 1940s on, but directly on Russia's borders, from the Baltic states and Ukraine to the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Each of these new Cold War fronts is, or has recently been, fraught with the possibly of hot war. US-Russian military relations are especially tense today in the Baltic region, where a large-scale NATO buildup is under way, and in Ukraine, where a US-Russian proxy war is intensifying. The "Soviet Bloc" that once served as a buffer between NATO and Russia no longer exists. And many imaginable incidents on the West's new Eastern Front, intentional or unintentional, could easily trigger actual war between the United States and Russia. What brought about this unprecedented situation on Russia's borders -- at least since the Nazi German invasion in 1941 -- was, of course, the exceedingly unwise decision, in the late 1990s, to expand NATO eastward. Done in the name of "security," it has made all the states involved only more insecure.

  2. Proxy wars were a feature of the old Cold War, but usually small ones in what was called the "Third World" -- in Africa, for example -- and they rarely involved many, if any, Soviet or American personnel, mostly only money and weapons. Today's US-Russian proxy wars are different, located in the center of geopolitics and accompanied by too many American and Russian trainers, minders, and possibly fighters. Two have already erupted: in Georgia in 2008, where Russian forces fought a Georgian army financed, trained, and minded by American funds and personnel; and in Syria, where in February scores of Russians were killed by US-backed anti-Assad forces . Moscow did not retaliate, but it has pledged to do so if there is "a next time," as there very well may be. If so, this would in effect be war directly between Russia and America. Meanwhile, the risk of such a direct conflict continues to grow in Ukraine, where the country's US-backed but politically failing President Petro Poroshenko seems increasingly tempted to launch another all-out military assault on rebel-controlled Donbass, backed by Moscow. If he does so, and the assault does not quickly fail as previous ones have, Russia will certainly intervene in eastern Ukraine with a truly tangible "invasion." Washington will then have to make a fateful war-or-peace decision. Having already reneged on its commitments to the Minsk Accords, which are the best hope for ending the four-year Ukrainian crisis peacefully, Kiev seems to have an unrelenting impulse to be a tail wagging the dog of war. Certainly, its capacity for provocations and disinformation are second to none, as evidenced again last week by the faked "assassination and resurrection" of the journalist Arkady Babchenko.

  3. The Western, but especially American, years-long demonization of the Kremlin leader, Putin, is also unprecedented. Too obvious to reiterate here, no Soviet leader, at least since Stalin, was ever subjected to such prolonged, baseless, crudely derogatory personal vilification. Whereas Soviet leaders were generally regarded as acceptable negotiating partners for American presidents, including at major summits, Putin has been made to seem to be an illegitimate national leader -- at best "a KGB thug," at worst a murderous "mafia boss."

  4. Still more, demonizing Putin has generated a widespread Russophobic vilification of Russia itself , or what The New York Times and other mainstream-media outlets have taken to calling " Vladimir Putin's Russia ." Yesterday's enemy was Soviet Communism. Today it is increasingly Russia, thereby also delegitimizing Russia as a great power with legitimate national interests. "The Parity Principle," as Cohen termed it during the preceding Cold War -- the principle that both sides had legitimate interests at home and abroad, which was the basis for diplomacy and negotiations, and symbolized by leadership summits -- no longer exists, at least on the American side. Nor does the acknowledgment that both sides were to blame, at least to some extent, for that Cold War. Among influential American observers who at least recognize the reality of the new Cold War , "Putin's Russia" alone is to blame. When there is no recognized parity and shared responsibility, there is little space for diplomacy -- only for increasingly militarized relations, as we are witnessing today.
  5. Meanwhile, most of the Cold War safeguards -- cooperative mechanisms and mutually observed rules of conduct that evolved over decades in order to prevent superpower hot war -- have been vaporized or badly frayed since the Ukrainian crisis in 2014, as the UN General Secretary António Guterres, almost alone, has recognized : "The Cold War is back -- with a vengeance but with a difference. The mechanisms and the safeguards to manage the risks of escalation that existed in the past no longer seem to be present." Trump's recent missile strike on Syria carefully avoided killing any Russians there, but here too Moscow has vowed to retaliate against US launchers or other forces involved if there is a "next time," as, again, there may be. Even the decades-long process of arms control may, we are told by an expert , be coming to an "end." If so, it will mean an unfettered new nuclear-arms race but also the termination of an ongoing diplomatic process that buffered US-Soviet relations during very bad political times. In short, if there are any new Cold War rules of conduct, they are yet to be formulated and mutually accepted. Nor does this semi-anarchy take into account the new warfare technology of cyber-attacks. What are its implications for the secure functioning of existential Russian and American nuclear command-and-control and early-warning systems that guard against an accidental launching of missiles still on high alert?

  6. Russiagate allegations that the American president has been compromised by -- or is even an agent of -- the Kremlin are also without precedent. These allegations have had profoundly dangerous consequences, among them the nonsensical but mantra-like warfare declaration that "Russia attacked America" during the 2016 presidential election; crippling assaults on President Trump every time he speaks with Putin in person or by phone; and making both Trump and Putin so toxic that even most politicians, journalists, and professors who understand the present-day dangers are reluctant to speak out against US contributions to the new Cold War.

  7. Mainstream-media outlets have, of course, played a woeful role in all of this. Unlike in the past, when pro-détente advocates had roughly equal access to mainstream media, today's new Cold War media enforce their orthodox narrative that Russia is solely to blame. They practice not diversity of opinion and reporting but "confirmation bias." Alternative voices (with, yes, alternative or opposing facts) rarely appear any longer in the most influential mainstream newspapers or on television or radio broadcasts. One alarming result is that "disinformation" generated by or pleasing to Washington and its allies has consequences before it can be corrected. The fake Babchenko assassination (allegedly ordered by Putin, of course) was quickly exposed, but not the alleged Skripal assassination attempt in the UK, which led to the largest US expulsion of Russian diplomats in history before London's official version of the story began to fall apart. This too is unprecedented: Cold War without debate, which in turn precludes the frequent rethinking and revising of US policy that characterized the preceding 40-year Cold War -- in effect, an enforced dogmatization of US policy that is both exceedingly dangerous and undemocratic.

  8. Equally unsurprising, and also very much unlike during the 40-year Cold War, there is virtually no significant opposition in the American mainstream to the US role in the new Cold War -- not in the media, not in Congress, not in the two major political parties, not in the universities, not at grassroots levels. This too is unprecedented, dangerous, and contrary to real democracy. Consider only the thunderous silence of scores of large US corporations that have been doing profitable business in post-Soviet Russia for years, from fast-food chains and automobile manufacturers to pharmaceutical and energy giants. And contrast their behavior to that of CEOs of PepsiCo, Control Data, IBM, and other major American corporations seeking entry to the Soviet market in the 1970s and 1980s, when they publicly supported and even funded pro-détente organizations and politicians. How to explain the silence of their counterparts today, who are usually so profit-motivated? Are they too fearful of being labeled "pro-Putin" or possibly "pro-Trump"? If so, will this Cold War continue to unfold with only very rare profiles of courage in any high places? 9. And then there is the widespread escalatory myth that today's Russia, unlike the Soviet Union, is too weak -- its economy too small and fragile, its leader too "isolated in international affairs" -- to wage a sustained Cold War, and that eventually Putin, who is "punching above his weight," as the cliché has it, will capitulate. This too is a dangerous delusion. As Cohen has shown previously , "Putin's Russia" is hardly isolated in world affairs, and is becoming even less so, even in Europe, where at least five governments are tilting away from Washington and Brussels and perhaps from their economic sanctions on Russia. Indeed, despite the sanctions, Russia's energy industry and agricultural exports are flourishing. Geopolitically, Moscow has many military and related advantages in regions where the new Cold War has unfolded. And no state with Russia's modern nuclear and other weapons is "punching above its weight." Above all, the great majority of Russian people have rallied behind Putin because t hey believe their country is under attack by the US-led West . Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of Russia's history understands it is highly unlikely to capitulate under any circumstances.

  9. Finally (at least as of now), there is the growing war-like "hysteria" often commented on in both Washington and Moscow. It is driven by various factors, but television talk/"news" broadcasts, which are as common in Russia as in the United States, play a major role. Perhaps only an extensive quantitative study could discern which plays a more lamentable role in promoting this frenzy -- MSNBC and CNN or their Russian counterparts. For Cohen, the Russian dark witticism seems apt: "Both are worst" ( Oba khuzhe ). Again, some of this American broadcast extremism existed during the preceding Cold War, but almost always balanced, even offset, by truly informed, wiser opinions, which are now largely excluded.

Is this analysis of the dangers inherent in the new Cold War itself extremist or alarmist? Even SOME usually reticent specialists would seem to agree with Cohen's general assessment. Experts gathered by a centrist Washington think tank thought that on a scale of 1 to 10, there is a 5 to 7 chance of actual war with Russia. A former head of British M16 is reported as saying that "for the first time in living memory, there's a realistic chance of a superpower conflict." And a respected retired Russian general tells the same think tank that any military confrontation "will end up with the use of nuclear weapons between the United States and Russia."

In today's dire circumstances, one Trump-Putin summit cannot eliminate the new Cold War dangers. But US-Soviet summits traditionally served three corollary purposes. They created a kind of security partnership -- not a conspiracy -- that involved each leader's limited political capital at home, which the other should recognize and not heedlessly jeopardize. They sent a clear message to the two leaders' respective national-security bureaucracies, which often did not favor détente-like cooperation, that the "boss" was determined and that they must end their foot-dragging, even sabotage. And summits, with their exalted rituals and intense coverage, usually improved the media-political environment needed to enhance cooperation amid Cold War conflicts. If a Trump-Putin summit achieves even some of those purposes, it might result in a turning away from the precipice that now looms

[Jun 17, 2018] Can the EU become a partner for Russia by The Saker

Notable quotes:
"... comprador elite ..."
"... The bottom line is this: currently, the EU is most unlikely to become a viable partner for Russia and the future does look rather bleak. ..."
"... They do not want to humiliate us, they want to subdue us, solve their problems at our expense ..."
"... either Russia is a sovereign country, or there is no Russia ..."
Jun 17, 2018 | www.unz.com

... ... ...

First, there is no "EU", at least not in political terms . More crucially, there is no "EU foreign policy". Yes, there are EU member states, who have political leaders, there is a big business community in the EU and there are many EU organizations, but as such, the "EU" does not exist, especially not in terms of foreign policy. The best proof of that is how clueless the so-called "EU" has been in the Ukraine, then with the anti-Russian sanctions, in dealing with an invasion of illegal immigrants, and now with Trump. At best, the EU can be considered a US protectorate/colony, with some subjects "more equal than others" (say, the UK versus Greece). Most (all?) EU member states are abjectly obedient to the US, and this is no surprise considering that even the so-called "EU leader" or "EU heavyweight" – Germany – only has very limited sovereignty. The EU leaders are nothing but a comprador elite which doesn't give a damn about the opinions and interests of the people of Europe. The undeniable fact is that the so-called "EU foreign policy" has gone against the vital interests of the people of Europe for decades and that phenomenon is only getting worse.

Second, the single most powerful and unified organization in Europe is not even an EU organization, but NATO. And NATO, in real terms, is no less than 80% US . Forget about those fierce looking European armies, they are all a joke. Not only do they represent no credible force (being too small, too poorly trained, under-equipped and poorly commanded), but they are completely dependent on the US for a long list of critical capabilities and " force multipliers ": command, control, communications, intelligence, networking, surveillance, reconnaissance, target acquisition, logistics, etc. Furthermore, in terms of training, force planning, weapon systems procurement, deployment and maintenance, EU states are also totally dependent on the US. The reason? The US military budget totally dwarfs anything individual EU states can spend, so they all depend on Uncle Sam. Of sure, the NATO figurehead – the Secretary General – is usually a non-entity which makes loud statements and is European (I think of that clown Stoltenberg as the prefect example), but NATO is not run by the NATO Secretary General. In reality, it is run by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), who is the head of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) and these guys are as red, white and blue as it gets. Forget about the "Eurocorps" or any other so-called "European armies" – it's all hot air, like Trudeau's recent outburst at Trump. In reality in the EU, as in Canada, they all know who is boss. And here is the single most important fact: NATO desperately needs Russia as justification for its own existence: if relations with Russia improve, then NATO would have no more reason to exist. Do you really think that anybody will let that happen? I sure don't! And right now, the Europeans are busy asking for more US troops on their soil, not less and they are all pretending to be terrified by a Russian invasion , hence the need for more and bigger military exercises close to the Russian border . And just to cover all its bases, NATO is now gradually expanding into Latin America .

Third, there is a long list of EU governments which vitally need further bad relationships with Russia . They include:

  1. Unpopular governments which need to explain their own failures by the nefarious actions of an external bogyman . A good example is how the Spanish authorities blamed Russia for the crisis in Catalonia. Or the British with their "Brexit". The Swedes are doing even better, they are already preparing their public opinion for a "Russian interference" in case the election results don't turn out to be what they need.
  2. Governments whose rhetoric has been so hysterically anti-Russian that they cannot possibly back down from it. Best examples: the UK and Merkel. But since most (but not all) EU states did act on the Skripal false-flag on the basis of the British "highly likely" and in the name of "solidarity", they are now all stuck as accomplices of this policy. There is no way they are simply going to admit that they were conned by the Brits.
  3. EU prostitutes : states whose only policy is to serve the US against Russia. These states compete against each other in the most abject way to see who can out-brown-nose each other for the position of "most faithful and willing loyal servant of the US". The best examples are, of course, the three Baltic statelets, but the #1 position has to go to the "fiercely patriotic Poles" who are now willing to actually pay Uncle Sam to be militarily occupied (even though the very same Uncle Sam is trying to racketeer them for billions of dollars ). True, now that EU subsidies are running out, the situation of these states is becoming even more dire, and they know that the only place where they can still get money is the US. So don't expect them to change their tune anytime soon (even if Bulgaria has already realized that nobody in the West gives a damn about it ).
  4. Governments who want to crack down on internal dissent by accusing any patriotic or independent political party/movement to be "paid by the Kremlin" and representing Russian interests. The best example is France and how it treated the National Front. I would argue that most EU states are, in one way or another, working on creating a "national security state" because they do realize (correctly) that the European people are deeply frustrated and oppose EU policies (hence all the anti-EU referendums lost by the ruling elites).

Contrary to a very often repeated myth, European business interests do not represent a powerful anti-russophobic force . Why? Just look at Germany: for all the involvement of Germany (and Merkel personally) in the Ukraine, for all the stupid rhetoric about "Russia being an aggressor" which "does not comply with the Mink Agreements", North Stream is going ahead! Yes, money talks, and the truth is that while anti-Russian sanctions have cost Europe billions, the big financial interests (say the French company Total) have found ways to ignore/bypass these sanctions. Oh sure, there is a pro-trade lobby with Russian interest in Europe. It is real, but it simply does not have anywhere near the power the anti-Russian forces in the EU have. This is why for years now various EU politicians and public figures have made noises about lifting the sanctions, but when it came to the vote – they all voted as told by the real bosses.

Not all EU Russophobia is US-generated , by the way. We have clearly seen that these days when Trump suggested that the G7 (or, more accurately, the G6+1) needed to re-invite Russia, it was the Europeans who said "nope!". To the extend that there is a "EU position" (even a very demure and weak one), it is mostly anti-Russian, especially in the northern part of Europe. So when Uncle Sam tells the Europeans to obey and engage in the usual Russia-bashing, they all quickly fall in line, but in the rare case when the US does not push a rabidly anti-Russian agenda, EU politicians suddenly find enough willpower to say "no". By the way, for all the Trump's statements about re-inviting Russia into the G6+1 the US is still busy slapping more sanctions on Russia .

The current mini-wars between the US and the EU (on trade, on Iran, on Jerusalem) do not at all mean that Russia automatically can benefit from this . Again, the best example of this is the disastrous G6+1 summit in which Trump basically alienated everybody only to have the G6 reiterate its anti-Russian position even though the G6+1 needs Russia far more than Russia needs the G7 (she really doesn't!). Just like the US and Israeli leaders can disagree and, on occasion, fight each other, that does not at all mean that somehow they are not fundamentally joined at the hip. Just think of mob "families" who can even have "wars" against each other, but that does not at all mean that this will benefit the rest of the population whom all mobsters prey upon.

The Ukrainian crisis will only benefit anti-Russian forces in Europe . There is a very high probability that in the near future the Ukronazi regime will try to reconquer Novorussia (DNR/LRN). I submit that the outcome of such an attack is not in doubt – the Ukronazis will lose. The only question is this: to whom will they lose:

I will admit that there is still a small possibility that a Ukronazi attack might not happen. Maybe Poroshenko & Co. will get cold feet (they know the real condition of the Ukie military and "dobrobat" death squads) and maybe Putin's recent not-so-veiled threat about " grave consequences for the Ukrainian statehood " will have the needed effect. But what will happen even if this attack does not take place? The EU leaders and the Ukronazi regime in Kiev will still blame Russia for the Ukraine now clearly being a failed state. Whatever scenario you find more likely for the Ukraine, things there will only get worse and everybody will blame Russia.

The crisis in Syria will only benefit anti-Russian forces in Europe. It is becoming pretty clear that the US is now attempting a reconquista of Syria or, at least, a break-up of Syria into several zones, including US-controlled ones. Right now, the US and the "good terrorists" have lost the war, but that does not stop them from re-igniting a new one, mostly by reorganizing, retraining, redeploying and, most importantly, re-branding the surviving "bad terrorists" into "good ones". This plan is backed by Saudi money and Israeli firepower. Furthermore, Russia is now reporting that US Special Forces are already working with the (new) "good terrorists" to – you guessed it – prepare yet another fake chemical attack and blame it on the Syrians. And why not? It worked perfectly already several times, why not do that again? At the very least, it would give the US another try at getting their Tomahawks to show their effectiveness (even if they fail again, facts don't matter here). And make no mistake, a US "victory" in Syria (or in Venezuela) would be a disaster not only for the region, but for every country wanting to become sovereign (see Andre Vltchek's excellent article on this topic here ). And, again, Russia will be blamed for it all and, with certifiable nutcasts like Bolton, Russian forces might even be attacked. As I wrote already many times, this is far from over . Just as in the Ukrainian case, some deal might be made (at least US and Russian military officials are still talking to each other ) but my personal opinion is that making any kind of deal with Trump is as futile as making deals with Netanyahu: neither of them can be trusted and they both will break any and all promises in a blink of an eye. And if all hell breaks loose in Syria and/or Iran, NATO will make sure that the Europeans all quickly and obediently fall in line ("solidarity", remember?).

The bottom line is this: currently, the EU is most unlikely to become a viable partner for Russia and the future does look rather bleak.

One objection to my pessimism is the undeniable success of the recent Saint Petersburg